West Ham United are just one point away from sealing a place in the Europa League next season.
It has been one phenomenal turnaround in fortunes for the east Londoners under David Moyes. After steering them clear of relegation with one game to spare last campaign, the Irons have soared into the top half of the table and were largely in the running for a top four berth until recently.
Injuries seriously hampered their chances of beating some big names to fourth place, but the Scotsman still deserves plenty of credit.
The 58-year-old’s shrewd business in the transfer market has played a major role, and there isn’t a better case in point than Tomas Soucek, who has quickly established himself as one of the most commanding box-to-box midfielders in the Premier League.
David Sullivan, David Gold and the rest of the Hammers hierarchy have really struck gold with the 26-year-old sensation.
In January 2020, Moyes made the decision to sign the relatively unknown Czech Republic international on an initial six-month loan deal, which contained a €21m (£18m) option to buy. That was duly triggered and West Ham have never looked back since.
Upon Soucek’s arrival at the London Stadium, Moyes waxed lyrical about his credentials, telling the club’s official website: “I think that he gives us a lot of different qualities, but most importantly he fits the profile of the player we want to bring to the Club. He is young and hungry but with an established pedigree and proven talent.
“He was captain of Slavia Prague, he’s played as a defensive midfielder but he’s scored a lot of goals as an attacking midfielder as well. At the moment he ticks a lot of boxes.”
Indeed, Moyes has not been wrong as Soucek’s transfer value has already soared to £36m, as per Transfermarkt, which is double what West Ham paid for him. This has come down to his impressive and consistent performances on the pitch.
Speaking about the midfielder’s first full season in the English top flight, former Hammers striker Marlon Harewood handed Soucek a glowing endorsement. During an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, he said: “Yeah, best signing of the season by far and he’s got everything. His stats say everything really when you compare them to anyone else in the league.”
It is hard to disagree with such claims, and that only further reinforces how the Irons have struck a dream deal with the 33-time international.
As per Transfermarkt, Soucek has delivered 13 goals in 53 appearances, despite often playing in a deeper midfield role alongside Declan Rice. His 6 foot 4 frame has seen him top the charts this season for aerial duels won per game (6.1) and he’s not too far behind for tackles (2.1 per game) and interceptions (1.6 per game), via WhoScored.
He is the only Irons player to feature from start to finish in every league game (barring a token minute after he was sent off in stoppage time against Fulham, a red card which was later rescinded), while he ranks first for duels contested and second for blocks by a midfielder in the league.
Soucek’s recent outings have led former Everton winger Yannick Bolasie to question why he isn’t being named in many pundits’ ‘Team of the Season’, as he tweeted: “How I’m not seeing Soucek in any teams of the season is a madness….the guy’s been unplayable.”
Such form has led to inevitable interest from some of the European giants, including current Champions League holders Bayern Munich, according to TEAMtalk.
Either way, the Irons are either going to keep hold of his lucrative talents for the next few seasons, or they will make mega profit on his signature. It’s a win-win, and everyone at the club deserves credit.
What a signing he has been.