David Moyes has revealed the latest information on the availability of Kurt Zouma, Tomas Soucek and Mark Noble ahead of their meeting with Leeds United this afternoon after the West Ham trio missed Wednesday night’s 2-0 win over Norwich City.
Speaking to West Ham’s official website, Moyes said: “Kurt Zouma is on his way back – he’s just started back training and is doing quite well.
“He’s another player unfortunately who had been down with the virus, and all the clubs have situations whether it be injuries or people with [illness], but we have to deal with it, move on and do the best we can.
“I don’t want to be specific on who’s got [the virus] and who’s injured, but we were without Tomas Soucek and Mark Noble on Wednesday. We’re hoping we might get one of them back, I’m not saying who.”
The midfield duo of Soucek and Noble both missed the Norwich victory, the first league game either had been absent from the squad for this campaign. In fact, since arriving in East London in July 2020, Soucek hadn’t missed a single minute of Premier League football for the Hammers before Wednesday evening.
As for Zouma, the French centre-back has missed over a month of action after sustaining a hamstring injury in the 3-2 victory over Chelsea in early December but appears close to being back in contention.
Naturally, supporters will want as many players available as possible throughout the campaign. However, the potential return of Zouma, Soucek and Noble is a particularly significant boost.
As previously mentioned, Soucek had been an ever-present for Moyes’ side since his move from Slavia Prague last season and is a crucial engine in the midfield for the Hammers. The Czech Republic international has three goals and one assist in the Premier League so far and his presence will certainly be an advantage against Leeds.
Zouma’s return will also be welcome with the Irons not looking as steely at the back during his absence. In the league games where the 27-year-old was present, West Ham conceded 14 goals in 11 matches, a 1.27 goals per game average. However, in the matches since his injury, the East London outfit have conceded eight goals in six games, a slightly higher average of 1.33 per game.
As for Noble, the 34-year-old West Ham legend will be retiring at the end of the season after making over 500 appearances for the club. Although he has only featured 12 times in all competitions this season, West Ham fans will be keen to see Noble play a handful more times for sentimental reasons.