West Ham outcast Nikola Vlasic produced an astonishing statistic in his latest appearance for Torino and it begs the David Moyes question again.
Let’s not fall into the Sebastien Haller wormhole by criticising Moyes every time a player he has shipped out does something half decent.
There is no hiding that West Ham have been struggling to create chances and score goals this season.
In that respect the statistics speak for themselves and the struggles of Gianluca Scamacca, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio – as well as West Ham’s lowly league position – are all the evidence needed.
It would be remiss not to keep a check on how the likes of Vlasic are getting on, though, considering he is still owned by West Ham.
Moyes has consistently stated this season that West Ham are missing ‘that final bit, that final pass or finish’ that will make all the difference in matches.
He has been calling on Scamacca to score more tap-ins and for players to start scoring a few screamers.
A shocking statistic this week showed West Ham had the fewest touches in the opposition area in the latest round of Premier League matches. That makes it pretty difficult for forward players to score tap-ins.
As West Ham continue to struggle to unlock opposition defences, there is more than a hint of irony that Vlasic continues to go from strength to strength over in Serie A.
The Croatian failed to establish himself at West Ham under Moyes last season following a £26m move.
Moyes shipped the Croatian international out on loan to Torino this summer with the Italian club also having the option to make the move permanent for just £12m.
Many West Ham fans felt Vlasic was not given a fair crack of the whip in his preferred central number 10 role.
And Vlasic’s performances in that very role on loan at Torino this season are giving credence to that theory.
Now West Ham outcast Vlasic has produced an astonishing statistic in his latest appearance for Torino and it begs the Moyes question again.
Torino made the trip to Salernitana on Sunday and played out a 1-1 draw. But they should and could have won comfortably thanks to the efforts of West Ham’s loan star Vlasic.
Because the 25-year-old created SEVEN chances during the game – the most by one player in a single game in Serie A this season (WhoScored, transfermarkt).
That is seven key passes to create a goalscoring opportunity as he ended the match with a match rating over 7/10.
Vlasic also had three shots of his own to boot. It is a quite staggering statistic for a player who could be sold for just £12m by West Ham either this month or in the summer.
Yes it is a different league and team but it once again begs the question did Moyes give up on Vlasic too soon?
The Scot has repeatedly called for his summer signings to be given time to settle and adjust to the Premier League.
So why did he not adopt that stance for Vlasic, particularly given he is still relatively young and theoretically has his best years ahead of him.
In fairness to Moyes, Vlasic did often fail to impress when he was given an opportunity. But he never had a proper run in the side, especially in his favoured central position.
Perhaps he would have linked up well with the likes of Lucas Paqueta and Scamacca this term. But it looks like we will never know.