West Ham eyes are on a £70m trio at the World Cup as Nayef Aguerd and Nikola Vlasic go head to head and Thilo Kehrer gets set for action.
West Ham’s £30m summer signing Nayef Aguerd started for Morocco in their World Cup opener against Croatia.
And Hammers-owned £30m outcast Nikola Vlasic, who has been shining in Serie A on loan at Torino, started for the Croatians.
West Ham fans will also be keeping an eye out for £10m summer signing Thilo Kehrer, who is set to play for Germany in their opener against Japan at lunchtime.
At the time of writing – with the match 0-0 at half-time – Vlasic had been struggling to get himself in the game but had a golden chance to give Croatia the lead on the stroke of half-time, only to be denied by the Morocco ‘keeper from point-blank range.
Aguerd has looked fit and focused. And he needed to be as he dived in to block another goal bound effort from Vlasic in first half stoppage time.
West Ham boss David Moyes will be hoping the World Cup minutes help his left-footed defensive acquisition get back up to full speed over the next few weeks and he returns to east London fit and raring to go.
Aguerd was fantastic in the Europa Conference League win over FCSB.
West Ham eyes on £70m trio at World Cup as Nayef Aguerd and Nikola Vlasic go head to head and Thilo Kehrer set for action
But he looked like a player who had been out for over two months when he was left for dead as Harvey Barnes sealed a 2-0 win for Leicester over West Ham going into the break.
West Ham fans – and possibly Moyes too – will also undoubtedly be keeping an eye on Aguerd’s Morocco teammate Youssef En-Nesyri, who should have scored with a header in the first half.
The Hammers faced the striker when they knocked Sevilla out of the Europa League last season.
En-Nesyri has been long linked with a move to West Ham and speculation has reignited this week. It is easy to see why Moyes might be interested again with Michail Antonio turning 33 in March and the Hammers having scored just 12 goals all season.
It will be intriguing to see whether Kehrer – Germany’s most used player under coach Hansi Flick – will start against Japan.
After impressing initially after signing from PSG, Kehrer has been error-prone, making five mistakes which led directly to goals for the opposition, the worst record in the Premier League.
He has been used at right-back of late for club and country.