‘Missed a trick’ – David Moyes told costly error affecting West Ham in top-four hunt

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Danny Murphy has told David Moyes and West Ham how they ‘missed a trick’ by failing to sign a striker in January – a move which is now harming the Irons in their top-four hunt.

Michail Antonio remains West Ham’s only out-and-out striker. Andriy Yarmolenko and Jarrod Bowen have both been deployed there in recent months, performing well too, but they prefer to operate out wide.

West Ham did attempt to rectify the problem during the winter transfer window. According to the Evening Standard, they submitted a club-record bid worth £60million for Benfica’s Darwin Nunez.

It was pushed back as the Portuguese side had no intention of selling partway through a season. They are benefitting from the decision as Nunez hit the winner in their Champions League last-16 second leg against Ajax.

West Ham continue to monitor strikers across Europe, including Nantes’ Ludovic Blas, ahead of the summer. However, Murphy thinks it will be too late for the east London outfit.

Antonio hasn’t found the net in the Premier League since New Year’s Day. And West Ham have dropped to seventh place since then.

“I do think they missed a trick in not getting someone,” Murphy said on talkSPORT. “Even if they couldn’t get someone they thought would take his place, someone who can compete at his level. Someone a bit younger or hungry who doesn’t mind coming off the bench.

West Ham compared to top teams

“All the top clubs in the Premier League, when a team makes a signing in your position you automatically jump up a gear.

“You know you may get your place taken. When Antonio is fit, generally he plays.

“Although he [Moyes] said the right things, I don’t think he got what he wanted [in January]. He’s an intelligent man, why wouldn’t he want someone in?”

Murphy continued: “West Ham are in a good position, but they were in an even better one. They were still in the [FA] Cup a few weeks ago and in a better position in the league.

David Moyes, Liverpool v West Ham March 2022

“A bit of strengthening and a bit of risk, not stupid in spending hundreds of millions, but one or two in attacking areas – every West Ham fan was saying the same thing.

“There’s no way Moyes didn’t want someone in.

“The West Ham owners have only once, in recent history, shown real gumption in the market when they backed Pellegrini. Other than that, they’ve done everything on a shoestring.”

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Hammers rival Aston Villa for midfielder

Meanwhile, West Ham are set to rival Aston Villa for talismanic Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips, according to a report.

Recent outlets suggest Villa are preparing to offer £60m for the England international once the transfer window reopens.

Football Insider now claim West Ham are willing to offer £50m, which would be a club record.

The battle between Moyes’ side and the Villans could see Phillips finally leave his boyhood club.

READ MORE: Major West Ham stumbling block with injury to Jarrod Bowen ‘worse than first thought’

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