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Gianluca Scamacca: £35m striker living on West Ham bench

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Gianluca Scamacca
West Ham United striker Gialunca Scamacca is struggling with game time. | PHOTO: Sky Sports |
  • West Ham United signed Gianluca Scamacca for £35m last summer from Italian side Sassuolo
  • The striker was a key member of David Moyes’ team at the start of the campaign in August 2022
  • Fast forward to 2023, the Italian is always on the bench and rarely used for the Premier League side

Gianluca Scamacca has been challenged by West Ham United manager David Moyes to up his game after he was an inactive substitute in the 1-1 stalemate with Aston Villa at London Stadium.

The Italian was present as Said Benrahma’s penalty gave the Hammers a crucial point in their fight against relegation. Danny Ings had been started in place of the ailing Michail Antonio.

READ: Top five Premier League strikers to watch out for in the 2022/23 season

Scamacca, who joined West Ham in a move that could have cost £35 million, showed promise in the first few games of the season, mostly in the Europa Conference League, but has faded into the background ever since the year’s turn.

Gianluca Scamacca

West Ham United striker Gialunca Scamacca has scored three goals from 16 Premier League appearances but has been seating on the bench since the turn of the year for David Moyes’ side. | PHOTO: Premier League |

The Scot responded during the post-game press conference when asked what Scamacca needs to do to reclaim his starting spot: “His link-up play is very good, he loves playing.”

What has Moyes said about Gialunca Scamacca

“We know that his physical data has got to be much better than it is but even today, Maxi Cornet, the thought was he could get in behind them and let’s be fair, we probably did and we nearly did three or four other times.

“Even Maxi had a couple of half chances, whether he was onside or offside. We saw Maxi doing that more than Gianluca.

“Gianluca has got to get himself back, as a manager, no manager wants to put out a bad team, you want to put out the players who you think are going to win for you, so you are always looking to put your best team out.”

In response to a question about what he meant, Moyes clarified his remarks about Scamacca’s work ethic by saying, “No, I believe his application is there, I think we just want the output to be bigger and more, that’s one of the things we are looking for more.

“The general part of his play, his hold-up play, we like him for it, he’s really really good at it and we’ve not seen it as much in the work we’ve been doing.”

West Ham Analysis

West Ham is currently ranked 17th in the standings, one place ahead of Bournemouth, who defeated Liverpool 1-0 on Saturday.

The way West Ham played against Aston Villa was comparatively strong and indicative of their usually improved performances at home.

Playing either side of Danny Ings, Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen offered the Hammers’ primary offensive danger, and they were the ones who appeared capable of securing a desperately needed three points. But Villa took a point back to the Midlands thanks to West Ham’s season-long inability to convert chances. They might have even taken all three in the end.

It is undeniable that Ings struggled against his old team. He’s a goal scorer, a poacher, and an effective out-of-possession defender for the team, but is that enough? There must be more than one method to skin a cat; ultimately, goals are what will maintain West Ham in the Premier League, but contributions during the build-up are equally important. The same is true of Moyes’ strategies.

Scamacca is a strong centre-forward who is strong in the air and has a great strike on him. The problem for West Ham is that, in Moyes’ present estimation, he doesn’t provide enough movement, both on and off the ball.

It is evident that West Ham and Moyes cannot afford to misjudge Scamacca the way they misjudge Sebastien Haller. There is a feeling that Scamacca has all the tools to produce like Haller if he is playing in the right environment. Haller went on to accomplish great things at Ajax and later Borussia Dortmund.


Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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