Sky Sports presenter Joe Thomlinson has claimed on the Football Daily YouTube channel that Lucas Paqueta may end up replacing Tomas Soucek in the West Ham United starting lineup.
The Hammers were certainly left feeling aggrieved on Saturday as VAR stopped them from picking up a point as Maxwel Cornet’s late equaliser was ruled out – something that has been acknowledged by the PGMOL.
Something more positive, however, was the debut of Paqueta, who managed to come through 82 minutes and registered the most shot-creating actions of any West Ham player (FBref), which will have delighted fans and David Moyes – but could be cause for concern for teammate Soucek.
Speaking before the game on Football Daily’s Sunday Vibes, Thomlinson claimed that moving forward, Paqueta could dislodge the Czech Republic international.
He said: “Paqueta’s a stunning signing. You can’t say anything negative about Paqueta in a midfield three of Declan Rice and Soucek – probably instead of Soucek.”
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TIF Thoughts on Paqueta…
If Paqueta does end up playing instead of Soucek – who has established himself as a regular at West Ham – it will have been a pretty big fall from grace as it wasn’t too long ago that the Czech was being linked with a move to Bayern Munich.
However, if Saturday’s game was anything to go by, Paqueta and Soucek should be able to play as part of a midfield trio that should set the Hammers up to thrive at both ends of the pitch, as Paqueta can express himself as he did at Stamford Bridge with his shot-creating actions and was also targeted the second-most by his teammates (as per FBref).
It’s certainly a good dilemma for Moyes to now have on his hands at West Ham, especially if they want to be competitive on four fronts this season, while the demand of playing Thursday and Sunday won’t be easy for the players.