Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

West Ham summer target Wesley struggles against Hammers defence

The 10 men of West Ham held on for a 0-0 draw at Aston Villa last night. On another day, West Ham might have collapsed but Aston Villa were lacking that cutting edge in the attack.

And the main reason for that was the poor performance of Wesley Moraes. Wesley, who was a summer target for West Ham (The Chronicle), struggled against Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna last night.

Manuel Pellegrini opted against spending his money on Wesley, who was an unknown quantity in English football. The Brazilian striker was playing in the Belgian top-flight for Club Brugge and he had a respectable but unspectacular goal tally there.

Last night gave Pellegrini a good opportunity to watch Wesley firsthand and see if he made a mistake. It is still early days in the season but Wesley’s clumsy performance hinted that West Ham took the correct route by signing Sebastien Haller instead.

Wesley Moraes: Performance in numbers

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Wesley had a poor game and Hammers News takes a look at his statistics from the match (via WhoScored). The physical centre-forward is a towering presence up top but he failed to win a single aerial duel. Contrast that with Haller, who won eight aerial duels and showed Wesley how to play the lone striker role.

The Aston Villa forward had two shots in the game – and only one on target – which is not good enough for a striker playing against 10 men. His one shot on target was weak and he had better options either side of him. He also failed to react quickly enough to a bouncing ball in the box late in the game, before falling down holding his leg.

Wesley had just 33 touches in 90 minutes yesterday. Considering Villa were pushing for a winner, he should have been more involved in the game. He was sloppy in possession, completing less than 80 per cent of his 17 passes.

The 22-year-old was also offside once, dispossessed once and he took four unsuccessful touches – highlighting his poor ball control. He might be getting used to the pace of English football but he didn’t give West Ham any reason to regret not signing him in the summer.

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