Hammers boss David Moyes has dropped a new Kurt Zouma hint in his West Ham press conference ahead of the Frankfurt clash.
It is now just over 24 hours until West Ham face Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League semi-final first leg at the London Stadium.
Excitement is building, not only for the game, but around whispers that West Ham’s defensive crisis could be eased by the surprise return of injured Zouma.
Yesterday we ran an opinion piece suggesting Hammers boss David Moyes had dropped a big hint that Zouma – who has been out injured since West Ham’s defeat at Brentford on April 10th – might be available for the semi-final.
West Ham, under the direction of Moyes, have given very little detail on the injury to Zouma or indeed Issa Diop in his absence.
When asked ‘might you have one or two more defenders available for Thursday than you did today’ an awkward Moyes responded: “I wouldn’t expect so, no.”
Moyes understandably wore a pained expression after the late Chelsea defeat.
But a wry smile broke out across the Scot’s face when the reporter finished with the comment ‘So you’ll go with what you’ve got’ in a BBC interview that appeared to drop a big Zouma hint ahead of the West Ham clash with Frankfurt.
Then in an exclusive from Claret and Hugh titled ‘Zouma… it’s top news’, a West Ham insider revealed that the £29m defender’s rapid recovery has given him a chance of playing in the first leg at the London Stadium on Thursday night.
Now West Ham fans have it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
That’s after Moyes dropped a new Zouma hint in his West Ham press conference ahead of the Frankfurt clash.
Speaking on Wednesday afternoon, Moyes suggested he may well be in line for a timely boost.
“We’ve got most people available at the weekend available again,” Moyes said in his pre-match presser (whufc.com).
“And we’ve got some people making good recoveries, but we don’t know if they’ll be ready yet…
“I wouldn’t rush anybody back. We could do with some central defenders getting fit, that’s for sure, but that’s the way it’s been.
“We’re getting to the business end and we really could do with our best players. We’ve been quite short, but great credit to the group of players for how they’ve done to get to this stage…
“Kurt Zouma’s back doing some light work and Issa Diop’s doing quite well as well, so there’s a bit of positivity around those players.
“I never rush players back, so we would only put players out if we thought they were trained and fit and ready to play.”
Given Moyes usually keeps his cards very close to his chest regarding team and injury news, this sounds very promising indeed.
Zouma has been out for 17 days so will be further down the line in terms of recovery than Diop one would think.
Having either back would be a fantastic boost.