UNDER-FIRE West Ham boss David Moyes TURNED DOWN Julian Alvarez while he was at River Plate due to Michail Antonio’s red-hot form.
Alvarez was brought to the Scotsman’s attention by a scout and Moyes has admitted he liked what he saw.
But Antonio’s ruthless streak in front of goal saw Moyes pass up on the opportunity to sign Alvarez – a fatal mistake that could’ve changed the trajectory of his West Ham tenure.
Antonio led the line for the Hammers on his own for the best part of 18 months but Moyes’ men gassed out in 2022, limping over the finishing line in seventh, as well as losing a Europa League semi-final to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Moyes told the Diary of a CEO podcast: “I think it’s the ones I’ve missed, the ones where you say ‘Nah, I don’t think he’s quite good enough.’ I’ve had hundreds of them.
“Just recently, because we’ve been talking about it, Alvarez who has just played for Argentina in the World Cup, I bought in a new scout who says ‘Look, you should go for Alvarez at River Plate’.
“I watched him and I thought he was a very good technician and done so many good things as a centre forward but I thought [he’s] maybe not quite the one we want, we had Micky Antonio who had been doing very well and I thought I don’t know.
“You see sometimes the players change in six months but I have to say there are other players like that who you don’t take and don’t go on to be a real success, but that one at the moment is just one where probably because it was only a year ago where I decided ‘Nah, he’s not one I’m going to take’.”
Fast forward a year and Alvarez is a World Cup winner, starring alongside Lionel Messi in Qatar last November-December.
Alvarez netted four goals at the winter tournament, helping the South American country claim their third-ever world crown.
West Ham, meanwhile, sit in the relegation zone on 15 points from 19 games.
The East London club’s last league win came in October against Bournemouth.
And David Moyes is on thin ice as he struggles to change his team’s fortunes.