Alex Kral makes impressive West Ham debut vs Man Utd | OneFootball
Alex Kral makes impressive West Ham debut vs Man Utd
West Ham United advanced into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup after they defeated Manchester United – and one name arguably stole the show.
Just a few days ago, the Irons suffered an agonising defeat to the Red Devils in the Premier League but here, David Moyes’ side were out for redemption in what was a rare victory at Old Trafford.
There were plenty of standout performers, with the likes of Issa Diop, ‘Man of the Match’ Craig Dawson and Alphonse Areola getting plenty of credit from supporters and press on social media.
But it was another player making his Hammers debut that looked top class against some big names.
Czech Republic midfielder Alex Kral joined the east Londoners on loan from Spartak Moscow, joining his international teammates Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal at the club, and he excelled in his first-ever competitive appearance.
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The 23-year-old, who is valued at €15m (£13m) by CIES Football Observatory, was quite literally all over the pitch as he looked to fill the void left behind by his colossal countryman and Declan Rice.
Kral did his defensive duties astutely as he recorded a game-high five tackles and three interceptions, as per SofaScore. He also made two clearances and won a total of eight duels.
Indeed, this massively helped in the absence of the usual first-choice duo as Soucek averages 3.4 tackles per league outing and Rice averages 2.2 interceptions per outing, via WhoScored. He effectively did the job of both next to club captain Mark Noble, who undoubtedly made his job easier.
“Loaning Alex Král with an option to buy at £12m looks like more smart business from West Ham,” claimed BBC Sport contributor Premier League Panel. “Superb defensive work vs Man Utd, as he constantly tracked runners in between the lines & made vital interventions (8 tackles/interceptions). Quality option to rotate with Rice & Soucek.”
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And as football.london’s Tom Clark wrote in his post-match ratings, Kral ‘showed a willingness to get forward and broke into the Manchester United box on a number of occasions.’
Both reviews only reinforce the fact that Kral was an industrious presence at either end of the pitch on Wednesday night.
It was certainly an impressive debut from Kral and he has now surely given Moyes plenty to think about heading into their upcoming fixtures across the Premier League and Europa League.