David Moyes has hailed Tomas Soucek for quickly becoming West Ham’s Running Man, having covered more distance on the pitch against Manchester City last week than any Hammers player has for six years.
In only his second appearance for the club, Soucek covered an amazing 13.1km during the 2-0 defeat, 1.7km more than the next best West Ham player, Declan Rice.
The 24-year-old, signed initially on loan from Slavia Prague last month, has regularly topped the distance-covered tables across Europe.
In the first four matches of this season’s Champions League Soucek ran more than 50km, the furthest of any player in the tournament.
Hammers boss Moyes said: “Tomas ran more the other night than any West Ham player has run for six years, which you have to say for someone who’s just arrived at the club is an incredible stat.
“Now it’s not all about running but it’s a big part of it and it certainly helps.
“I had a feeling when we signed him that that was one of his strengths. But for him to come in and do that at the moment is great – at West Ham we’ve talked about needing some legs, a bit more energy, running, covering the ground more.
“And he’s a goal threat. Against Brighton he had a couple of chances and at City he was nearly on the end of one.
“We’re talking about young players, Declan, Jarrod Bowen, and I’m saying Tomas at the moment is 23 (sic) and you’ve got this.
“We’re in a tough period and we’re trying to gather some positives from it. Hopefully one or two of the young players can have an impact.”
Moyes on why Bowen will again be benched
Soucek will be back in the starting line-up at Liverpool on Monday night but fellow January recruit Bowen, the 23-year-old forward signed last month for £20million from Hull, is likely to be on the bench again.
“Jarrod could easily start, because his training suggests he could do. There’s no problem with that,” added Moyes.
“But I also want to make sure we’ve not got a player coming from a Championship club who we’re all suddenly saying is the answer to our problems.”