David Moyes decided to start Mark Noble in the middle of the park rather than Alex Kral for West Ham United’s clash with Rapid Vienna last night.
And that decision tells us all we need to know about what Moyes really thinks of the Czech midfielder.
Kral joined West Ham from Spartak Moscow on transfer deadline day in the summer.
The Hammers have an option to bring him to the London Stadium permanently next summer for around £17 million (£12 million plus a potential £5 million in add-ons) according to ExWHUemployee.
Kral has barely played for West Ham this season. In fact, before last night, the 23-year-old had been given just 95 minutes of action for the Hammers.
Our clash with Rapid Vienna seemed like the ideal time for the Czech Republic international to be given a chance.
Alex Kral hint dropped by David Moyes
The 23-year-old wasn’t selected to start against the Austrian side. Instead, Moyes opted for Mark Noble and Tomas Soucek in the middle of the park.
Noble actually played quite well, but Soucek is clearly in desperate need of a rest.
Last night was the ideal time to give Kral a chance to shine. Yet Moyes decided to play a 34-year-old and a player who is quite obviously in the red zone.
Did Moyes think that the 23-year-old wasn’t match fit having recently contracted Covid? Or was it that the Scot just doesn’t fancy Kral?
For Kral’s sake, let’s hope it was the former.
The 23-year-old midfielder actually impressed when he came on as a 65th minute substitute last night. He looked very strong and athletic and worked very hard.
It will be interesting to see how often Moyes uses him throughout the next five weeks. West Ham face 11 games over the course of the next 35 days.
If Kral isn’t given at least a couple of starts, it will be clear that the West Ham boss quite simply doesn’t trust him.
So the next month or so will be crucial for Kral and his hopes of earning a long-term contract with the Hammers.