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West Ham must rue the departure of Enner Valencia

West Ham United might wish for a player such as Enner Valencia right now, with the Ecuadorian’s 2022 World Cup campaign reminding the Irons faithful of his talismanic presence on the pitch, something they could do with at present.

Under the tutelage of David Moyes, who took the reins in 2019, West Ham have reached a Europa League semi-final and now look to climb towards Europa Conference League glory, having assuredly topped their group.

However, on the domestic front, the club’s travails have not been an apt reflection of the progress made across the past few years, and despite the summer acquisitions of the likes of Lucas Paqueta and Gianluca Scamacca, the club occupy the 16th spot in the Premier League, just one point off the relegation zone.  

And with just 12 goals scored, the need to bolster the offensive department at the club has not been greater for several years, and Valencia fits that bill. 

Despite failing to qualify from their group, Ecuador enjoyed a decent group phase, defeating Qatar and holding the Netherlands to a draw, but it is talisman Valencia who has earned the plaudits, scoring three of their four goals. 

Indeed, currently standing as the joint top scorer in the tournament, the 33-year-old’s innate clinical nature is something that could aid the Hammers as they strive to climb the league table and return to winning ways. 

As per Sofascore, Valencia recorded a rating of 7.37 for the South American side, threatening with 3.0 shots per match and out-scoring his expected goal tally of 2.27.

And WhoScored state the veteran ace to have made one key pass per match, knitting the offence with the midfield and contributing with 0.7 crosses. 

While he did ply his trade for West Ham, Valencia did not exactly enjoy the most fruitful spell of his career, scoring ten goals and providing seven assists across 68 appearances, although with a wealth of experience at present, he is certainly a better, more complete player at 33-years-old. 

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West Ham's Declan Rice

When was the last time West Ham had an England player go to a World Cup?

For his domestic club Fenerbahce, the ace, described a “legend”, has furthered the claim that he could still do a job for Moyes’ men, netting 15 times and providing four assists in just 22 outings, as per Transfermarkt.

Ultimately, with age against the sharpshooter, Valencia’s return to London would be most unlikely at the twilight stage of his career, but his knack for finding the back of the net is something that is certainly sparse at West Ham right now, and they could do with his ability and experience.