When West Ham missed out on Gedson Fernandes, after David Moyes had talked up the wantaway Benfica starlet as one for the future, most supporters would have been rightfully underwhelmed with the Scottish manager.
Little did any Irons fan know, that the man who arrived instead of the Portuguese midfielder would transform this Hammers side and in just six months become one of its most vital assets.
Now, especially with Fernandes struggling at Tottenham and without a Premier League start, Tomas Soucek’s loan deal from Slavia Prague in January appears like a Moyes masterstroke, regardless of whether he meant it or not. The Czech Republic international has appeared just ten times in the Premier League, but he’s made a significant impression during his brief spell.
The 25-year-old has been extraordinarily prolific since the return of the Premier League, scoring twice and bagging consecutive man of the match awards as the Hammers accumulated four vital points against Chelsea and Newcastle. Soucek appears to be enjoying himself on the pitch, and he is determined to repay Hammers fans for accepting him with open arms.
What did he say?
Speaking with Evening Standard, the midfielder said: “I am enjoying the Premier League because we play against big teams, and I’m enjoying every day on the training ground.”
“I’m playing with guys that I’ve played with for four or five months, but I’m really enjoying it and, hopefully, we’ll be safe, and I will be able to enjoy more years here,” added Soucek.
When Soucek arrived, he joined a side in freefall and spent his first three games with West Ham in the relegation zone. However, his influence has helped to drag this side out of that mess, and his drive in the middle of the park could prove a defining factor in keeping the Hammers afloat.
When it has come to the crunch, Soucek has been particularly impressive, since the return of football he has recorded an average match rating of 7.25, helping the Irons accumulate seven points. While other sides struggling to stay afloat at the bottom of the Premier League stuttered upon the division’s resumption, the Czech midfielder kicked West Ham into gear with a dominant display against Chelsea, scoring his first goal to help pull off a memorable victory.
At present, the 25-year-old appears well worth his reported £15m fee, which the Irons will have to pay Slavia Prague to ensure he remains in London permanently if West Ham stay up. There are few better ways to endear yourself to supporters than saving the day and at present Soucek is on course to do just that. His grin is infectious, and it’s more than likely that admiring his determination to ensure West Ham’s survival has put a smile back on many supporters’ faces.