Pablo Fornals vies with Bournemouth's Chris Mepham(Image: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Three West Ham players hoping to catch David Moyes' eye after winter break ends

The winter break has been shortened for the Hammers players and there are some who will want to make an impression once it's done


West Ham will be back in action on Wednesday evening when they face the not at all daunting prospect of a trip to Manchester City to play their rearranged fixture from last weekend.

Storm Ciara's impact on the north west saw the match on Sunday postponed on safety grounds and it was moved to February 19, cutting both teams' winter breaks short by a few days in order to get the game played.

The Hammers and City players have all had this week off but both sets of players are due to return to their respective training grounds on Saturday morning, as was the original plan. Now though, the players will be gearing up towards a midweek fixture rather than a weekend one or in the Hammers case, a Monday trip to Liverpool.

It's the start of a tough run of games for the Hammers between now and the end of March where they play Man City, Liverpool, Southampton, Arsenal, Wolves and Spurs over the next six weeks.

Manager David Moyes has a relatively fit squad to choose from, with Felipe Anderson coming back from injury and Andriy Yarmolenko also closing in on a return too, leaving only long-term victims Jack Wilshere and Winston Reid on the sidelines.

With the extra competition for places, that means that many players will be looking to get a chance to catch the manager's eye, be it from the start or off the bench, ahead of the crucial relegation run-in later this year.

So who are those players?

Pablo Fornals
Pablo Fornals celebrates after scoring against Leicester City at London Stadium(Image: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

The Spaniard has seen a frustratingly small amount of game time since Manuel Pellegrini was given the boot from the club in December as Fornals was starting to hit his stride.

Fornals was one of the better Hammers players during the final matches under the Chilean but since Moyes came in, he initially preferred Manuel Lanzini in the number ten role and the arrival of Tomas Soucek has also complicated matters for the £25m summer signing.

Hammers fans are clamouring for Fornals to get more game time, especially in the wake of the dreadful form of Lanzini in recent weeks, and he will be one no doubt hoping to make a case to the manager to get more starts for the run-in.

Jarrod Bowen

A lot of hope is being pinned on the 23-year-old transfer deadline day signing from Hull City to help fire the Hammers to safety, be that assisting goals or adding to the 16 he has already scored in the Championship this season.

Bowen comes with a big enough price tag to justify that expectation but for someone making his first foray into the Premier League in his career, it could be a lot to ask of the forward.

But, he is certainly someone who will want to prove that he can cut it at the highest level. If he can chip in and help steer the team to survival in the top flight, he'll have got off to a great start.

Felipe Anderson
Felipe Anderson during Training at Rush Green (Image: Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United FC via Getty Images)

Having been out for more than a month with a rib injury, the Brazilian will want to show Moyes that his display in the Scot's first game back as boss, when he scored against Bournemouth, was not a one-off.

It's been a struggle for the former club-record signing this season, like most of his teammates to be honest, and then he was sidelined following a hefty challenge from Mo Besic in the 1-0 loss to Sheffield United. His pace and directness has been missed by the Hammers over the past month or so.

Anderson has been putting the work in while in Italy on his winter break, posting regular videos on his Instagram account of him training and looking sharper each day. His return to action, which could come against Man City next week, couldn't be better timed for Moyes in the midst of a relegation battle.