Thierry Henry tells Lucas Paqueta 'it's time for you to perform' before West Ham United 3-1 defeat v Arsenal
Thierry Henry has heaped praise on Lucas Paqueta but told him that “it’s time for you to perform” for West Ham after his World Cup exploits.
The Brazilian shone in Qatar before their quarter-final exit and started in a more advanced role for the Hammers at the Emirates as they fell to a 3-1 defeat on their return to Premier League action on Boxing Day.
But speaking on Amazon Prime before the game (26 Dec, 19:29), former Arsenal legend Henry called for him to start performing the same way for his club as he does for his country after admitting he was a “huge fan” of him.
“A thing I wanted to mention is that we’re talking about Declan Rice and Soucek, obviously they can do a lot of stuff, but I’m big on Paqueta,” he said.
“I think it’s time for you to perform, really.
“Declan Rice is doing what he’s doing, but usually those guys make sure that you’re not going to lose the game to be able to win it for them. Paqueta is not doing that right now, but it takes time to adapt to this league and I know, but I’m expecting him to do a bit better.
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“Huge fan of him. I cover the French league as you guys know, and when he was at Lyon he was at times, almost unplayable.
“But those are the guys I think we should ask questions on why are you not performing. Yes it’s a different league but I’m just saying hopefully he will come good for West Ham.
“Those are the guys that I expect to make West Ham win.
“Paqueta is a player, I think he can adapt to any players. I just think he needs to adapt. It’s a different team, with different players. He just needs to understand what is happening in and around him and play more often than not.
“He didn’t always play back-to-back games.”
After finishing the season in seventh place last season, the team has regressed horribly despite spending upwards of £170m on new signings during the summer window.
Paqueta was the biggest and best of the bunch, joining for a club record fee, and while he has shown glimpses of his Hammers career kickstarting he still hasn’t done nearly enough in a claret and blue shirt so far.
His talent and ability is evident, but he’s not being put in a position by David Moyes to make the most of it. That, however, isn’t a good enough excuse to be so invisible so often.
The Brazilian is an attacking player who is playing closer to the goal than he usually does, but the manager is using a system he has had success with and it’s on Paqueta to adapt quickly and start performing.
He’s got bags of quality and is still early on in his career, but as we sit just one point above the relegation zone currently we need our best players to step up and perform, including Paqueta.