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West Ham’s Lucas Paqueta has shone in Qatar

West Ham United have seen a wealth of talent head to the World Cup from east London, with Declan Rice and Nayef Aguerd already shining for their respective nations.

However, with Lucas Paqueta, it threw up a very different challenge for the former Lyon midfielder.

In a Brazil side inundated with stars, it remained to be seen whether he could hold his own despite a somewhat disappointing start to life at the London Stadium.

Having played 14 times for the Hammers now, the 25-year-old is yet to score and only has three assists to his name.

With his club-record £51m price tag attached to him, it makes his return somewhat disappointing.

However, what will have pleased fans and Hammers boss David Moyes, was how well he took to the challenge of international football on Thursday night.

Starting beside Casemiro, the creative midfielder was handed a more conservative role by Tite, preferred to the likes of Fabinho, Fred and Bruno Guimaraes.

Challenged to be the “joker in the pack” by journalist and South American expert Tim Vickery, he impressed in his deeper position.

Although it was a hardly spectacular performance, he did shine with a workmanlike display that was integral to his side’s victory, earning his 7.2 SofaScore rating.

Having touched the ball 52 times, it was clear the 25-year-old was trying to make things happen, even if it did lead to a detrimental 73% pass accuracy.

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West Ham's Declan Rice

When was the last time West Ham had an England player go to a World Cup?

With his quality, he likely was handed the job of trying the extraordinary, whilst his midfield partner just kept things simple. This resulted in his one key pass.

However, it was his defensive work that saw him truly shine.

Boasting four tackles and two clearances, he was everywhere on the pitch. These battles in the centre of the field culminated in the six duels he won out of seven (85% success rate).

Although he once again did not find his creative spark, against Serbia it was not needed.

Lucas Paqueta vs Serbia

He sat behind one of the best front fours in world football and screened the back four to perfection.

Should he add a bit more quality when he is asked to try eccentric things, Paqueta could quickly become one of Brazil’s most important players.

Moyes will then be hoping that can be translated back into his domestic football upon his return.