Julen Lopetegui

Downes Like a New Signing for Lopetegui

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Flynn Downes, a homegrown player aged 25, signed for West Ham in July 2022. The player was on the verge of joining Crystal Palace from Swansea City yet chose his boyhood club when he became aware of their interest. The transfer fee of £9 million was reported to be worth up to £14 million with add-ons. At the time, David Moyes said, “We think he’s got good energy. We’re always trying to find boys from the Championship that can step up to become Premier League players. I’m hoping Flynn does.”

His mood soon changed mid-season when he made it clear he was disappointed with the Englishman’s impact: “The things I’ve seen of him, he needs to do better and we’re already working at that, but we’ll get him a game when we can. All the players have to earn it, and I have to find a way of winning most of the games.”

Nearing the end of the season, Moyes commented that there were areas he felt Downes could improve on and hoped he could continue to develop.

A loan move was swiftly arranged at the end of the season to help progress the signing of James Ward-Prowse from Southampton. When Downes left to join up with his ex-manager Russell Martin at St Mary’s Stadium, he remarked that he was excited to get back into a team with a more possession-based game, citing that’s what players and fans want. Some saw this as a subtle dig at the former West Ham gaffer.

The Brentwood-born holding midfielder has started in 35 of his 37 appearances for the Saints. The stats suggest there is something in what Downes previously stated: he is in the 98th percentile for passes attempted, 99th percentile for passes completed, 92nd percentile for interceptions, and 75th percentile for progressive carries.

Southampton are clearly very keen to make the move permanent.

With Julen Lopetegui now officially installed as head coach, inheriting a small, aging squad bereft of homegrown talent, it makes sense for West Ham to persuade Downes that he has a future in the East End of London.

Guest post by former OLAS writer Matt Kemp

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0 comments

  • Rob says:

    I hope they keep him. From what little game time he had under Moyes, he looked comfortable on the ball and could find a decent pass. He perhaps seems more suited to Lopetegui’s style of play.

    • Phil says:

      Let’s be honest , Moyes ruined alot of players with his negative tactics and they ended up not wanting to play under him. He ended up with a small squad because not too many players liked his style…..if you can call it that !!!

  • kent says:

    Decent player – we should be aiming for higher than decent at all times.

  • Simon says:

    I certainly hope Downes proves Moyes and his other critics wrong, and seal down a starting birth in the new WH 1st team.
    In the few games he played for WH, he showed flashes of a Mark Noble, but was quickly relegated by the opinion of our former “great” manager, yet Southampton gladly received him, and brought out the best in Him.
    Welcome back Flynn. Here’s wishing you better times at West Ham, son. God bless 🙏⚒⚽️🔥

    • Paul Holmes says:

      Downes deserves a decent chance back at West Ham. I thought he played well in the minimal amount of game time he was given.if he can achieve similar stat’s to what he is achieving at Southampton he will be well worth it. I believe he is a better midfielder than 1 or 2 of the players who are in the Hammers 1st team.

  • Simon says:

    I certainly hope Downes proves Moyes and his other critics wrong, and seal down a starting birth in the new WH 1st team.
    In the few games he played for WH, he showed flashes of a Mark Noble, but was quickly relegated by the opinion of our former “great” manager. Yet Southampton gladly received him, and brought out the best in Him.
    Welcome back Flynn.
    Here’s wishing you better times at West Ham, son. God bless 🙏⚒⚽️🔥

  • Ken Brickell says:

    Well if he stays with us, at least Merson will be able to pronounce his name. He even seems to think that is ignorance is funny! There are plenty of ex players out there who could do a better job.

  • Bonzo says:

    He had plenty of games for us. He did the simple things very well, much like Mark Noble used to do. Didn’t really offer much creatively, assists or goals. When Ward Prowse came in he immediately started assisting and scoring goals. so picking the team and choosing between ward prowse and downes was a no brainer.

  • BackOwight says:

    And true to form Moyesey has wrecked the best set piece, corner taker, and long range passer and probably the greatest free kick taker to the depths of oblivion. What a total waste.

  • Maggie hodgson says:

    They need keepflynn downes and get younger players not old player 27+ 33 we should young club

  • Paul Kitcher says:

    As a Saints fan I’d be really keen to see him stay. Living in the Hammers catchment area I wouldn’t want him to go anywhere else except maybe back to WHU.

  • Walid Mohammed says:

    I think given chance he van do alot for Westham, I am Sorty but Moyes hurt and distoyed a handfull of gpod players with his style of play, you talk about plers like Said Ben Rahma, how come just one season and all of a suddenly he became no player, it doesn’t make no sense. I still believe he is a perfect fit for the Lopetegui’s style of play

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