Team news: David Moyes offers Tomáš Souček update

Tomas Soucek

West Ham United manager David Moyes has offered a positive update on the fitness status of Tomáš Souček on the eve of his team’s Premier League season opener at home to Newcastle.

The midfielder did not feature for the Czech Republic against either Slovakia or Scotland in the Nations League, with reports that his international side’s preparations were disrupted by a member of the backroom staff testing positive for COVID-19.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference for Newcastle, Moyes confirmed that Souček has returned from the international duty and has been training with the West Ham squad.

The athletic midfielder impressed during his first half-season on loan with the Hammers, seeing his signing from Slavia Prague made permanent in July.

Moyes is now looking forward to having the influential figure back amongst the ranks and available for the upcoming 2020/21 Premier League season.

“Tomáš is back and all fine,” Moyes confirmed. “I think the problem happened over in the Czech Republic. 

"He came back and we had a couple of days where we trained him, but he’s fine. He’s been okay.

"The disappointing thing from our point of view is we sent him away to play two games for the national team and one of their staff tested positive and I don’t think was wearing the right equipment, so it made it really difficult for us."

Tomas Soucek in pre-season action against Brentford

Having scored his first three goals in English football – vital strikes against Chelsea, Newcastle and Watford – following last season’s summer restart, Souček demonstrated his value to the Hammers at both ends of the pitch.

Such versatile utility has seen the Czech Footballer of the Year draw comparisons with Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini, whom Moyes formerly recruited while he was at Everton.

Moyes, however, sees Souček as a player of different qualities, challenging the West Ham man to continue to make a crucial difference to his side.

“If he does as well as Fellaini did, he’ll be doing okay!” he joked. “He played in a lot of big games and he’s won an awful lot of international caps for his country, and he’s played in quite a few cup finals, so I think Tomas in many ways has some similar attributes, but having worked with them both, I can tell you they’re different players in different ways. 

“Tomáš has made a big difference to West Ham, that’s for sure, just like Fellaini did at Everton when I took him there as well.”


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