Thursday, December 8, 2022

West Ham’s Nayef Aguerd is shining in Qatar

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West Ham United have seen a few of their players feature already at this World Cup, with Declan Rice likely to demand the most attention, having put in an impressive display as England cruised to victory,

However, it is with the lesser nations where it is arguably more impressive to see a star perform, especially when the gulf in quality is as dramatic as between Croatia and Morocco.

Whilst the European outfit reached the final of this competition just four years ago, the African nation had qualified for only their second World Cup since the turn of the century this year.

There also marked a ten-team gap between the two in the FIFA world rankings.

Despite this, in what was admittedly a poor game of football, both sides were held to a goalless draw.

This will have pleased Morocco far more, especially their staunch back four who defended like warriors to deny the likes of Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic a first win of the competition.


Whilst Dejan Lovren earned the best rating of anyone on the pitch, it was the Hammers’ centre-back Nayef Aguerd whose 7.3 rating was the most impressive of any Moroccan.

This was well-earned, as his statistics denote a player who gave his all defensively to prohibit an opposition boasting immense quality.

Throughout his 90 minutes, he managed to make three clearances, one block, one interception and one tackle, maintaining a 100% success rate in the four duels he competed in (via SofaScore).

He would also marry this with an impressive 87% pass accuracy as he looked to show a cutting edge despite his side only boasting 35% possession.

Having signed in the summer for £30m, the fee raised eyebrows after the 26-year-old had impressed for Rennes.

However, with displays like that, the monetary value will become inconsequential.

He is yet to really kickstart his career at the London Stadium, with injuries having limited him to just four appearances for the Irons.

For many, this will mark their first real chance to view their top defender in action. Should he continue to play like this, fans will be desperate for him to get back to playing under David Moyes.



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