By Joe Ellis

8th Dec, 2022 | 11:10am

'Miracle' needed for West Ham United ace Nayef Aguerd to play in Morocco v Portugal

West Ham defender Nayef Aguerd faces a race against time to be fit for Morocco’s World Cup quarter-final against Portugal, according to L’Equipe.

The 26-year-old was forced off the field as the African nation stunned 2010 World champions Spain in the round of 16 via a penalty shootout as he suffered a groin problem.

He was visibly upset on the bench as his teammates sealed the deal from 12 yards but there was still optimism that he could be ready to face another European neighbour in Portugal.

But L’Equipe now report that a “miracle” is needed for him to recover from the strain in time to represent his country once again in Qatar and a replacement is now being lined up.

Jawad El-Yamiq is set to take Aguerd’s place in the defence alongside Besiktas giant Romain Saiss as the 30-year-old from Real Valladolid in Spain readies for his first start of the tournament.


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There must be a real problem or risk of aggravating a previous injury if he plays because there is no way a nation such as Morocco would be taking precautions in a World Cup quarter-final.

Aguerd will be desperate for the aforementioned miracle to come true before the fixture commences so he can line up alongside Saiss as he has done for the previous four matches.

But with this news, it seems highly unlikely he will feature and he, therefore, has to hope that his fellow Moroccans can once again produce a magical result and book their spot in the semi-finals.

David Moyes won’t want to see his mega-money summer signing put at further injury risk having been forced to play much of the season without him after an incident in pre-season away at Rangers.

At least he got the chance to make his Premier League debut prior to the World Cup because any further knock could prevent his immediate return to the London Stadium.