Moyes mulling over Lucas Paqueta transformation to cost West Ham star – but keep him in job

Lucas Paqueta, September 2022

West Ham manager David Moyes could drop Tomas Soucek and move Lucas Paqueta deeper into midfield to try to save his job, a report claims.

The Hammers have impressed in recent seasons, led by now-captain Declan Rice amid his recent rise for club and country. Alongside him, Soucek has proved a fantastic and reliable signing from Slavia Prague.

The duo have helped West Ham secure European football at the London Stadium for two successive seasons. This season, though, a noticeable slump has occurred.

Moyes’ side currently sit 18th in the Premier League after seven games.

They have only won one game, with a draw their only other point. What’s more, they are on a run of two defeats in a row – their second losing run already this term.

Football Insider consequently points out that Moyes is considering how he could steer himself away from pressure. And reshaping his midfield is in his mind.

Indeed, Moyes could reportedly drop Soucek, who has played every minute in the league for West Ham this term.

While he has proved reliable, concerns for his performances this term come after reports of tension between him and Moyes last season.

Paqueta in line for new role

And if he drops Soucek, the West Ham boss could play Brazilian star Paqueta in a deeper role.

The 25-year-old, who signed for the Hammers for a club-record fee, could reportedly get on the ball more and affect the game better if he drops.

Attacking midfielder Paqueta has been trying to make his mark in his trademark role further forward, but to not much effect.

West Ham’s 1-0 loss to Everton before the international break raised alarm bells further. While the Toffees were at Goodison Park, they too have struggled for form this season.

West Ham facing issues – but need confidence

One of the biggest issues facing West Ham is that they are trying to gel so many new players in after the summer transfer window.

They were one of the Premier League’s biggest spenders and the financials of the last few months have added to the pressure.

As for the players involved, though, there is extra pressure to perform given they have been tasked with cementing West Ham’s progress and taking them forward.

Indeed, Paqueta is not the only new signing who has struggled to hit his best form.

Thilo Kehrer has had a tough start at the heart of a defence which has conceded nine goals in seven games.

Further forward, new striker Gianluca Scamacca signed for over £30million. While he has starred in the Europa League, he is yet to hit his first Premier League goal.

And the longer that wait goes on, the more the pressure on him will grow and the more he will be used as a scapegoat.

Of course, the international break may well have done West Ham the world of good. They play Wolves, who are just a place above them in the table, on their return to action on Saturday.

If the result against Everton set alarm bells ringing, defeat to the Molineux club will make them ring louder.