Europa League, West Ham: the irresistible takeover of Mohammed Kudus


By: Manu Tournoux

West Ham did not do well. For the 4th time this season in the Europa League, the London club faced Fribourg, who lost RC Lens in the previous round. Beaten by a short head in Germany, the Hammers had no other choice but to win to stay in the competition. Pushed by their audience, the English team only needed half an hour to turn the situation around before moving on in the second half. Devilishly effective and never really worried by his opponent, the winner of the Europa Conference League last year simply corrected Friborg (5-0 in London, recording in the process his biggest victory in a European match. A resounding success to which Mohammed Kudus participated greatly.

Mute since his return from the CAN but still essential in David Moyes’ system, the Ghanaian international (32 caps, 11 goals) has found the net again, and in style. Lacking success during the first act, the former Ajax Amsterdam player got back on track in the second half. In a hybrid role of winger-playmaker, the 23-year-old provoked enormously, causing major problems for the German defenders, while showing significant defensive prowess. If Lucas Paqueta (1-0, 9th), Jarrod Bowen (2-0, 32nd) as well as Aaron Cresswell (3-0, 52nd) showed the way to their partners earlier in the game, Kudus subsequently highlighted his technical qualities and his burst of speed to undoubtedly score one of the goals of the evening in the Europa League. After recovering the ball in his own camp, the native of Accra launched into a solitary rush of 80 meters, depositing the opposing defenders in turn before adjusting Atubolu with his right foot (4-0, 77th).

Mohammed Kudus, the new darling of the Hammers!

Galvanized by this sensational goal, the Ghanaian did it again ten minutes later. Well placed at the entrance to the area, the ex-Amsterdamer took advantage of a delivery from Jarrod Bowen to get on his good foot and roll in an unstoppable shot for the goalkeeper of the Breisgau-Brasilianer (5-0, 85th). From then on, the Ghanaian closed his evening in style with a double and a qualification for the quarter-finals of the C3. Under the spell, David Moyes was rave about him, exalting his technical qualities in the process. “If anyone remembers those dribbling wingers who used to run and take on people with twisty hips and find a way to pass, that was a bit like that tonight. It was a brilliant individual goal. It was a Roy des Rovers goal.conceded the West Ham manager after the final whistle.

Long coveted by Manchester United and Erik Ten Hag, his former coach in the Netherlands, Mohamed Kudus finally opted for the London challenge. Possessed from Ajax Amsterdam for a check for €40 million, the Ghanaian international fully justifies the investment of his managers, as evidenced by his more than honorable statistics for his first stint in England (33 matches including 27 starts for 12 goals and 3 assists in all competitions). Today, the Accra native seems more fulfilled than ever across the Channel. Remarkably integrated by his teammates, he also benefits from the total trust of his coach. “My relationship with David Moyes is good. I’m still trying to learn every day to be the player I see myself being. I learned a lot from the coaching staff and the players. Credit goes to the team and coaches for the fast start I got off to, as they helped me settle in really well and improve every day. We are still learning and there is still a long way to go”, he expressed the day before. Present in major events, Mohammed Kudus will undoubtedly be one of the Hammers’ major assets for the rest of the season.

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