West Ham: Moyes has £12m star ‘on reins’ at London Stadium

West Ham United manager David Moyes

West Ham United manager David Moyes has midfielder Flynn Downes ‘on reins’ at this moment in time, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The 23-year-old has only been handed a limited number of opportunities to shine in the early stages of his Hammers career and is being eased into his new surroundings by Moyes.

What is the latest news involving Downes?

Downes joined West Ham via a £12 million deal from Swansea City over the summer following the retirement of Mark Noble and the departure of loanee Alex Kral.

However, the former England Under-20 international is yet to start a Premier League game and has only made one brief cameo as a substitute while on domestic duty.

Moyes did hand Downes his first opportunity from the off in West Ham’s recent victory over Romanian side FCSB in their Europa Conference League Group B opener, though, and he’ll surely be hoping there are plenty more to come.

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And the capital club’s slow start to the Premier League campaign will also give the 5 foot 8 ace encouragement that he could find himself in the starting XI sooner rather than later.

West Ham have won just one of their opening six encounters in the top-flight, and Moyes may be tempted to bring Downes into the fold in order to change their fortunes.

What has Jones said about Downes?

Downes currently finds himself behind club captain Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek in the pecking order when it comes to West Ham’s engine room options.

Jones believes that the east London outfit want Downes to ‘burst through this season’ but that Moyes is currently holding him back from doing that.

In an interview with GiveMeSport, he said: “They want him to burst through this season. But you know, Moyes has kind of got him on reins at the moment. He kind of wants him to take baby steps into the team.”

Who could Downes replace?

Rice is a relatively untouchable figure in the West Ham midfield, and although Soucek has arguably been performing below his best for some time now, his underlying numbers are still impressive.

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As per WhoScored, the Czech Republic international has won two aerial duels while averaging 2.3 tackles, 1.7 interceptions, 0.7 blocks, and 1.7 shots per league game, placing him in the top three for each metric when compared to his teammates.

It seems as though Downes will have to remain patient for his opportunity in the Premier League, therefore, and hope he does enough to catch Moyes’ eye in Europe.

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