Magical Paqueta


Luis Paqueta, our new superstar

West Ham fans have always adored players with magic in their feet; the likes of Dimitri Payet, Paolo Di Canio and Joe Cole come to mind. This time we have Lucas Paqueta .

The Brazilian became West Ham‘s record signing last summer, signing a five-year contract in a deal understood to be worth more than £50m plus add-ons. There was huge anticipation and excitement around his arrival. The dawning of a new era, some of us felt.

But, it’s taken a little while for Paqueta to click into gear. The 25-year-old has needed time to adjust to the hurly burly of the Premier League. Paqueta, who was a regular starter for Brazil at the 2022 World Cup, has begun to hit his stride in recent weeks, though, and was the star of the show at the London stadium against Leeds yesterday afternoon.

He produced some pieces of brilliant skill and an overall performance that was instrumental in helping West Ham take control of the game – we had our usual sluggish start, but the momentum shifted as soon as Paqueta started getting hold of the ball.

Just look at his match stats:

  • Touches: 106
  • Accurate passes: 60/73 (82%)
  • Chances created: 3
  • Expected goals (xG): 0.27
  • Assists: 1
  • Successful dribbles: 6
  • Tackles won: 4
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Ball recoveries: 5
  • Ground duels won: 11
  • Aerial duels won: 4

West Ham manager David Moyes has previously spoken about the need for players, no matter their price tag, to be given time to adjust to the Premier League. Pablo Fornals a previous example of a foreign import needing to get used to their new surroundings.

Moyes is quoted as saying per 90 minutes:”“Our model has more been when they come in, they need to be ready. Probably this year, we bought in quite a few players and for me personally, not so many of them hit the ground running.

But I think Lucas has been the one who has really, really come through now and shown it. It’s a good time for us, because at the end of the season, we needed him. Making some goals, helping us get to a final and obviously, he performed really well today.”

Paqueta’s first year at West Ham could culminate in a Europa Conference League winner’s medal and a place in the 2023/24 Europa League. On the evidence of this performance, he’s likely to be front and centre in Prague if the Hammers are to win their first European final in 47 years a night we’ll never forget !

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  • Eug says:

    It goes to show, even with the top talented players, it can take a while for them to settle in. I think we sometimes take a knee jerk reaction, if a player doesn’t hit the floor running. Look at Sebastian Haller. We sold an incredible goal scorer at an incredible loss. We lost half the money we spent on him. He went on to break the goal scoring record in one season, in the Champions League, no less, for Ajax. And is now scoring goals for fun for Dortmund, who look like they are going to win the Bundesliga. I fear we may make the same mistake with Scamacca. The boy as barely been given a chance to prove himself and we are already talking about offloading him at another huge loss. Crazy

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