'He's a machine' - Randolph raves about work-rate of West Ham team-mate Soucek
Tomas Soucek has proven to be quite the hit at West Ham since his arrival from Slavia Prague last January.
Soucek, 25, arrived at the London Stadium on an initial loan deal and went on to play a key role in helping the Hammers avoid relegation by scoring three goals in 13 Premier League appearances.
In the summer, the Irons signed Soucek permanently for £19.1million [BBC Sport] and the Czech Republic international has continued to impress in East London.
West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph has been raving about the work-rate of the Czech midfielder, claiming that he has an unnatural ability to keep on running.
“Tomas Soucek himself alone can cover 13 or 14km in a game and I’ve never played with someone who covers that much distance in a game, ever,” Randolph told West Ham’s official website. “We then come in for a warm down the next day and he goes and does another 5 or 6km around the training ground. He’s a machine!
“To have those numbers and match that with the quality and ability is unusual, because you normally have one or the other – quality but no running or a runner who is not very good – but Tomas does both!”
Randolph nailed it with that last statement because a lot of hard-working players are known exactly for that but lack in quality but Soucek is a hard-worker who shines almost every time he pulls on West Ham’s colours.
Stats by WyScout show that Soucek ranks second in the Premier League for the percentage of aerial duels he’s won this season [53.61%], being involved in 11.28 per 90 minutes of football.
WyScout also ranks Soucek as the fifth-best central midfielder so far this season with James Ward-Prowse, Mateusz Klich, Youri Tielemans and Mason Mount ahead of him.
Last time out, Soucek scored the match-winning goal for West Ham in their 1-0 victory over London rivals Fulham.
The Czech Forrest Gump is emerging as one of West Ham’s most important players and someone who David Moyes can regularly rely on in big matches.
If the Irons are going to transform themselves from a team fighting off relegation to one that’s challenging for a spot in European football, Soucek’s arrival in January could be seen as a major turning point.
In other West Ham news, Andriy Yarmolenko had an international shocker this week in Ukraine’s defeat to Poland.