West Ham United should look to move on Tomas Soucek in January
When David Moyes returned to West Ham and brought Tomas Soucek into the club, it was another gem that the Scottish boss had unearthed.
Much like Belgian Marouane Fellaini many years before him at Everton, Moyes had found a target man midfielder who could arrive late in the box and score goals as well as be a presence defensively in the heart of the pitch.
The first 18 months of the Czech Republic ace’s Hammers career saw him become a fan favourite and one of the first names on the team-sheet, something nobody took any issue with.
But as Declan Rice emerged as an even better footballer than many had thought he was, and he was pushed further forward so as to not limit him to just a holding role in midfield, Soucek’s form dipped.
Originally it was thought that it was just tiredness, as Moyes’ reliability on him started to take it’s toll after a long, hard season and an international tournament in the summer too, but he’s never regained that form.
Defensively he’s a shadow of the player he used to be, physically it feels as though he’s regressed and he hasn’t scored a goal since August.
He’s offering nothing to the team anymore and it’s not a coincidence that Flynn Downes has impressed whenever he’s been given the chance to play in that central midfield position.
Soucek’s current contract is due to expire in the summer of 2024 and negotiations over a new deal have stalled because his performances haven’t matched up to his wage demands, and there was reportedly interest in him over the summer.
Moyes and West Ham were keen to strengthen the squad in the summer and spent in excess of £170m bringing in eight new players, but Soucek was given a stay of execution.
His performances this season however have shown that he is done at the highest level, at least in this current West Ham setup, and with Moyes not expected to be going anywhere any time soon it’s best for everyone if he moves on in January.
The club can get some cash for a player whose value will only decrease afterwards, while also having the opportunity to replace him with someone who is on an upward trajectory rather than in freefall.
The good times were great, and fans won’t forget some of the things he’s done in a claret and blue shirt, but the facts are that it’s time to go now.