On the Chalkboard
There is a lot on the line for both sides who face off at the AMEX Stadium this afternoon. The Hammers will be targeting a sixth-place finish and to achieve that will have to win and hope Manchester United drop points. Meanwhile, the hosts could confirm their first-ever top-half Premier League finish depending on how results go elsewhere.
If West Ham are to secure victory then axing right-back Coufal will help them. The 29-year-old joined the club in 2020 from Slavia Prague for £5m. He has been a solid player at times but isn’t the long term solution and if the club want to keep growing and push for the Champions League places next season they need someone better.
Last week saw the farewell of club captain Mark Noble and an impressive 2-2 draw against Manchester City that has had a huge effect on the title race. However, that result could have been a victory if it wasn’t for an own goal scored by Coufal.
Should Moyes axe Coufal?
It would have given the club a much better chance at securing a Europa League place. It also meant that the Czech Republic international now has more own goals for The Hammers than he does goals.
Moyes can’t risk starting the £27k-per-week full back again and should start the more promising option of Ben Johnson. The 22-year-old Englishman has made 19 league appearances for the club this season so isn’t short of experience. He also has a goal to his name which proves he can be more of a threat going forward.
Coufal’s contract at The London Stadium expires next summer, at which point he will be almost 31, so it wouldn’t make sense for West Ham to keep him for any longer than that.
They could potentially sell him this summer and try and recoup some of what they bought him for, he’s rated at £10.8m according to Transfermarkt.