‘We want our Gianluca back’: Scamacca handed rare chance to show West Ham his worth
Both David Moyes and Roberto Mancini have laid down the law to Gianluca Scamacca this week. Now it is up to the West Ham and Italy striker to respond.
Moyes says Scamacca came back a different player after the World Cup break, but is ready to give him a chance in tonight's Europa Conference League last-16 second-leg tie.
With West Ham leading 2-0 from the first leg in Cyprus, Scamacca is set to start — and Moyes has called on him to start "playing like a 6ft 4in centre-forward".
Moyes blamed Scamacca's "physical data" for his lack of opportunities, and has demanded more from the £30.5million signing. Italy head coach Roberto Mancini then told Scamacca a lack of action at club level will hinder his international prospects.
"We want our Gianluca back, who we had from August to November," said Moyes. "The one we have got right now looks slightly different.
"We want him to be physically working hard for the team, getting in the right goalscoring positions, playing like a 6ft 4in centre-forward and covering all the ground. That's what we want from him.
"In the early part of the season, we saw that. We haven't seen it since he has come back from his injury in November around the World Cup."
Big things were expected from Scamacca when he joined last summer but, after an encouraging start, the 24-year-old has underwhelmed.
Four of his seven goals this season have come in the Europa Conference League, and it is that competition which offers him an opportunity to kick-start his campaign.
Scamacca has not featured in the Premier League for more than two months, so must make the most of his chance in what is West Ham's final game for more than two weeks. The Hammers were due to play Manchester City this weekend, but that has been postponed because City are in action in the FA Cup. The international break then follows.
Moyes said: "I don't know how many players were bought in the Premier League [this season] — let's say 150. How many of them do you think have been a success? I don't think you would be thinking of too many names. So, to put it in perspective, it is not just Gianluca. It is a difficult league to come into and get settled. He will come back soon."
Progress to the quarter-finals would quieten the noise around Moyes, who is likely to hand Maxwel Cornet another appearance from the bench as he is eased back in. "We've got a job to finish, and if we can do that we'd reach a European quarter-final two years in a row," said Moyes. "It's important."