West Ham’s first-team coach Bill McKinlay has given his opinion on Gianluca Scamacca who wants to leave, saying the club has never witnessed the full potential of the Italian striker due to an injury-hit debut season.
McKinlay told The Athletic that a disrupted season has made it hard for Scamacca to adapt to East London. The 24-year-old has recently expressed his admiration for the current situation of his childhood club Roma [La Gazzetta dello Sport], sparking transfer speculation.
However, according to the report (13 July), West Ham believes that Scamacca has “more to prove” at the London Stadium after just one season.
McKinlay said: “He had a bit of a disrupted season with one or two injuries which didn’t help him. It’s not easy settling into a new league, which is probably the hardest league in Europe physically and mentally.
“We didn’t see the best of him and he had a knee injury during the second half of last season. He’s come back and is still probably working up to full fitness.
“We’re delighted to have him back, he’s a top player and I’m sure we’ll see that in the coming weeks and months. He’ll really benefit from a consistent pre-season.
“Last summer he joined us right at the end (of the window) and missed large chunks of the work. He’s a top international and I’m sure we’ll get the benefit from that.”
“I’ve worked abroad so I understand the differences between the leagues and cultures. It’s up to us to support him and help develop his game. If you get niggling injuries and you end up missing training and games, then it becomes really difficult to get that momentum into your game.
“Gianluca is an intelligent boy, he wants to learn and we’re all here to help him.”
Scamacca’s future has been a hot topic this summer, with AS Roma being the most interested club in the Italian international and his own preferred destination [Francesco Guerrieri].
But West Ham have made their position clear, according to this report, and they think the forward still has something to give the club next season. The Hammers are not overloaded with strikers and may perhaps look to this area to strengthen.
Scamacca has not met expectations so far, but he has scored some crucial and well-executed goals in both the Premier League and Europe and perhaps needed a season to adjust to a new league.
However, when one of your players starts flirting with another club, it often means the end of their time there. But this may be difficult as Roma are reportedly looking for a loan but West Ham wants a full transfer fee to recover as much of the £34million they paid for him [La Reppublica].
McKinlay seems confident in his quotes about Scamacca and perhaps there is trust among West Ham staff that the former Sassuolo man can rediscover his lethal form. But with just 0.29 non-penalty goals per 90 (41st percentile) and 2.33 shot-creating actions per 90 (50th percentile) [FBRef], Scamacca does have a steep hill to climb if he wants to be seen as a true goal threat next season.
But, there’s a reason why Jose Mourinho likes the striker [Calciomercato] and it is understandable that Scamacca may send a signal to Roma while giving up on West Ham.
A return to the Italian league may be in Scamacca’s best interest, but West Ham will not let go of their man too easily