David Moyes has rarely dipped his toe into the transfer market since returning to West Ham United for a second spell in charge. But when he has, it has often worked out.
Jarrod Bowen has gone from a Championship star to proving to pundit’s that he has Premier League talent, Craig Dawson has been a rock in the defence, and Vladimir Coufal has been a sensation at right-back.
Those players represent three of the six arrivals at the London Stadium since Moyes’ return, but one of the first, Tomas Soucek, has seen his rise to prominence result in his market value skyrocketing.
Soucek boasted a modest TransferMarkt valuation of £9m when Moyes first rought the Czech Republic star to the Premier League on an initial loan deal in January 2020. Yet the 26-year-old’s incredible form has since moved that marker to £36m.
Only Soucek and Rice have seen their TransferMarkt values rise by more than £10m since making their debuts for West Ham, with Bowen’s £9m increase the third-highest on current figures with the forward now valued at £27m.
The rapid rise of Soucek’s value will come as no surprise to the Hammers fanbase, who have seen the former Slavia Prague star fast emerge as one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the Premier League.
Only Bruno Fernandes (16) and Ilkay Gundogan (12) have scored more often than Soucek (9) from central midfield positions in the top-flight this term while Soucek’s commanding presence has earned him widespread adulation.
“When we’re talking about box-to-box midfielders, there’s nobody better in the Premier League right now than Soucek,” Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports, via quotes by TalkSPORT.
“The goals stand out massively – that is huge for a midfield player and is a big reason why West Ham are where they are.
“Aerial duels won is just off the scale. No midfielder in the last ten years has managed that many… since Marouane Fellaini!”
Soucek has won 102 more aerial duels than any other midfielder in the Premier League so far this season with success in 165 of his 272 challenges, per WhoScored. That is also the most won by any player in the top-flight by 34 to Sheffield United’s Oli McBurnie (131).
Add in Soucek’s team-high return of nine goals in 29 games this season, it is no wonder that the Hammers are set to offer him a bumper pay rise to fend off interest from a host of Premier League and European suitors, per Football Insider.
Soucek currently earns £67,000-per-week at the London Stadium and has previously been linked with German giants Bayern Munich, although The Athletic claimed in December that any side wanting to seal a deal would have to offer in excess of £50m.
That would be more than twice the £19m that the Irons paid Slavia Prague to turn Soucek’s loan deal permanent last summer, and may already be considered too little as his form and importance to the side continues to rise.
Soucek struck a 48-minute hat-trick to help the Czech Republic thrash Estonia 6-2 in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday night, with two goals before the break; a well-placed header and a driven effort from range before tapping home his third later on.
It is no wonder that Kevin Campbell claims Soucek has been “phenomenal” for West Ham, and the increase of his market value does not look like stopping anytime soon.
AND in other news, West Ham are adamant a deal to sign a £100k-p/w “revelation” will be reached…