By Anthony Onifade

18th Sep, 2023 | 8:10pm

Emerson falters for West Ham United in 3-1 loss v Manchester City, David Moyes could ready January move for Filip Kostic

West Ham United suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season in a 3-1 loss to Manchester City and Emerson’s faltering performance could well mean David Moyes already kicks off plans to replace him in January.

The Premier League champions were forced to come from behind after James Ward-Prowse nodded Vladimir Coufal’s deft cross beyond Ederson in the 36th minute before missing some guilt-edged chances.

But second-half goals from Jeremy Doku, Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland helped Manchester City come from behind to beat the in-from Hammers at the London Stadium on Saturday (17 September).

The result maintains City’s perfect start to the campaign, with five wins from five, while West Ham slipped outside the top four after suffering their first loss of 2023-24.

And while Moyes will have been encouraged by the performance of the likes of Alphonse Areola, Nayef Aguerd and James Ward-Prowse, Emerson who has become a reliable presence at left-back for David Moyes over the past year will not have helped his starting opportunities any further with his performance against Pep Guardiola’s men.

Throughout his 90 minutes on the pitch against City, the Italian international averaged the third-worst SofaScore rating of any West Ham United player to start the match, winning just 50% of his total duels, registering one key pass, failing to register a single cross or big chance created and picking up a poor 0.01 expected assists (xA).

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The former Lyon full-back had actually started the campaign in promising fettle for the Hammers but against quality opposition, the Italian disappointingly faltered and was nowhere to be seen, especially on a flank where Moyes desperately needs his left-back to provide the cutting edge in the final third.

The Hammers were linked with several left-back names during the summer transfer window with Chelsea’s Ian Maatsen, Manchester United’s academy wonder Alvaro Fernandez and Juventus’ Filip Kostic lined up as potential long-term replacements for Aaron Cresswell who looked set to depart while also potentially usurping the Italian in Moyes’ starting eleven.

In fact, the Hammers made a deadline-day approach for Kostic [Calciomercato, 1 September], with Juventus reportedly wanting around £12.8m to sell.

It was also understood that a salary worth £40k/week was being discussed between the two parties as the Hammers looked to sign the left wing-back, come left winger.

However, no move materialised and Cresswell ended up remaining at the club to continue his nine-year association with the East Londoners, while Emerson remained Moyes’ go-to man at left-back but there may be a timer on that guarantee.

As his performance against City showed, Emerson’s indecisiveness and impact against the big teams could well leave Moyes already planning to revisit the £12m-plus deal for Juventus man Filip Kostic.

The Serbian international is well-renowned for his consistent destructive attacking play from the left flank, registering three goals and eight assists last season for Juventus, in an area where West Ham United could well be in desperate need of reinforcements to hit that next level.

A January move for Kostic cannot be ruled out at this point, and Tim Steidten and Moyes may already be planning to revisit it.

In other West Ham news, the East Londoners may well have found their next Declan Rice in one burgeoning Belgian talent, an ambitious bid could be on the cards in January.