Former Spartak Moscow goalkeeper Anzor Kavazashvili has criticised Alex Kral following his £12 million loan-to-buy move to Premier League pacesetters West Ham United, in quotes reported by Soccer.
So what changed?
Why, in the final throes of a frantic transfer window, did West Ham suddenly renew their interest in a man who appeared to have missed out on a big-money move to the London Stadium just three months earlier?
A couple of underwhelming performances at Euro 2020 – particularly during the group-stage clash with Scotland – appeared to put that to bed, however, with West Ham placing Kral firmly on the backburner.
Until deadline day that is.
The poodle-haired ball-winner joined David Moyes’ side on Tuesday on a season-long loan, complete with a £12 million option-to-buy clause.
Not that Kavazashvili will be enduring too many sleepless nights as Spartak prepare for life without a man who flitted from the excellent to the anonymous during two years in Moscow.
Will Alex Kral live up to expectations at West Ham?
“Any player must play in the starting line-up at all times to justify the club’s investment in him,” Kavazashvili said of a man who joined Spartak in a £10 million deal from Slavia Prague in 2019.
“He didn’t justify himself very much. And it’s only because of this that Spartak parted ways with him.
“So I think this is the right decision. We need to rely more on our young (homegrown) footballers. How do I remember him? Just by hair and surname, nothing else!”
The energetic, aggressive Kral is likely to provide some useful cover in central midfield, easing the burden on the overworked Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek as a rather small squad prepares to balance domestic and European exploits.