Lucas Paquetá in training

Team News: Paquetá closing in on return

Lucas Paquetá is closing in on a return to the West Ham United team as David Moyes' men prepare for Monday night's Premier League derby with Brentford.

The Brazil midfielder has been absent since early January with a calf problem, but has returned to training at Rush Green recently and is pushing his way into the manager's thoughts.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Moyes said he was not sure whether the 26-year-old would be available on Monday night, but he is certainly making steps in that direction.

With Michail Antonio available again following his lay-off too, the boss is relishing the prospect of a fuller squad to choose from.

"It’s an easy thing to say, but I think we’ve missed some really senior players," he explained. "AFCON didn’t’ help us with players being away for the month of January and we picked up a few injuries to really important players too.

"But Lucas Paquetá is back in training and very close to returning. Hopefully that will give us a huge boost.

"He’s certainly in contention for Monday night. I’ll need to find out exactly where he is, but overall we’re so pleased that we’ve got him back in as it has been a while.

"We’ve just got Mick [Antonio] back last week for the first time, and as I said Mo [Kudus] and Nayef [Aguerd] were at the Africa Cup of Nations, so it’s good that we’re beginning to get them all back together."

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