David Moyes reveals West Ham’s secret weapon in Mohammed Kudus and Edson Alvarez deals

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

David Moyes has revealed the role played by new assistant coach Johnny Heitinga in the signing of Mohammed Kudus and Edson Alvarez from Ajax this summer.

Both players swapped Amsterdam for east London this summer in deals worth a combined total of more than £70million.

Former Netherlands defender Heitinga trod a similar path, joining Moyes’s revamped backroom team having played under the Scot at Everton and then begun his coaching career in the Ajax set-up.

“I met Johnny in the summer a couple of times before I brought him in,” Moyes said. “I’d had some meetings him but I was also asking him about the Ajax players and what might be there.

“I didn’t know I was going to end up getting them because they were two lads on our list of recruitment. We were keen on getting Joao Palhinha from Fulham and we didn’t get him. We were obviously looking to see who we could try and get after that. James Ward-Prowse was high on my list no matter what.

“But I was able to talk to Johnny about Edson and then Mo when he started to become a consideration. Steven Pienaar has been at Ajax as well and he was one of my ex-players [at Everton] so I phoned him about them too.”

While Alvarez has become an instant hit in Moyes’s first-choice side, Kudus arrived later in the window and has so far been restricted to starts in the cup competitions, as well as substitute cameos in the Premier League.

Moyes confirmed, however, that the Ghanaian is in contention to start when Sheffield United visit the London Stadium on Sunday and offered insight into how he plans to use a player whose versatility has been talked up as one of his key attributes.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“Mo’s ready, I’ve got no doubt about that,” Moyes said. “I think he was ready when he came, he wasn’t needing games he wasn’t needing training, he’d done all that. He’s ready and when we see the right opportunities and moments we’ll use him.

“I see him playing several different positions but he’s probably another midfield player for us, another No10. We’ve got a lot of competition in that position at the moment and he can play off the sides. He’s played centre-forward as well.

“There’s little bits of all those we can use if we need to but probably where we see him most is around No10 or one of three midfield players.”