When we were first linked with Maxwel Cornet, I can’t say I knew enough about him as a player to make a judgement.
I’m fine with not knowing who players are even though we do live in a generation now where it’s deemed unacceptable not to know the ins and outs of footballers. I’m the complete opposite and want to normalise that it’s OK to not know every detail about players.
My first instinct of knowing we were linked to Cornet was that he’s just been relegated with Burnley so it wasn’t a great start. However, for how slim our squad was, I became more open to the idea of signing him knowing that it’s another body.
I didn’t want to get ahead of myself with researching the player as we all know how our transfer window goes, we are linked to every single footballer known. I waited until he signed for us to then dive in and have a look at who he is, how he plays and what he could potentially bring to West Ham. When I found out he played on the left I was super happy as we need that burst of energy pushing forwards down that side.
Youth on his side
He is only 25 so he’s approaching his peak of becoming a good player and is still young so has youth on his side. He also has played for a few decent teams including Lyon where he scored in the Champions League quarter finals against Manchester City taking them through to the semi-finals. He also represents his national side Ivory Coast which is pretty impressive considering he played for Burnley for a season.
After the first few games he has played for us, I can see a really good player in him and we have seen glimpses of that throughout the four games he has played. I thought when he came on against Chelsea, he did make an impact and one of them was the goal that got disallowed. He also won us two penalties in the Conference League against FCSB and Silkeborg where we ended up winning both games.
He does have an impact when he plays as he is a threat going forward. But there have been a few times in the match where I was left disappointed. Some moments that stand out to me are Chelsea away where he had a free header and he managed to somehow hit the woodwork. The other time was against Everton where he took a really heavy touch in front of goal and completely messed up his shot where he didn’t even win a corner from it.
Cornet was also abysmal in the second half against Silkeborg and did make me wonder after that game if we have another Masuaku on our hands. Only playing four games does not justify how good you will be over time. It takes a lot of getting used to playing a different style, formation and with new players so I do completely understand how he needs to adjust to West Ham.
I would love to see him taking chances in front of goal but for the time being, he is great as an impact substitute. I feel like you get more out of players now you can have five subs as you can tell the players you’re subbing on and off that they only have a set amount of time on the pitch so they can go out there and give it their all knowing they aren’t playing the full 90 minutes.
Over time and the crowd behind Cornet, I think he can be more than an impact sub and start making the starting line-up. I do believe we have a player in him.