Who Is Tom? Sou?ek? All You Need to Know About West Ham's New Central Midfielder

West Ham fans, sit up and take notice - we've actually made a January signing (an initial loan with option to buy) and his name is ​Tomáš Souček!


Now, you're probably thinking, not again. 


Not another player that I've never ever heard of, and not another player who is going to take ages adapting to the ​Premier League.

I can't guarantee that won't happen but there is one thing I can do - tell you a little bit more about what Souček has achieved, what he's capable of doing and where he might fit into this West Ham side.


Let's dive in, shall we?


So, Just Who the Hečk Is He?

Souček is a 24-year-old central midfielder, who operates primarily in a more defence-minded role.

Born and raised in Havlíčkův Brod, a district town in the Vysočina Region of the Czech Republic, he's been on the books of Slavia Praha, in a contracted capacity at least, since 2013.

After spending a year with the youth team, he was sent out on loan to Viktoria Žižkov to hone his craft before returning to Prague in 2015 to become a regular in Slavia's midfield. 


A short loan spell at Slovan Liberic aside, he's done just that - and over the past couple of years has become the Czech giants' most important player.


What's He Achieved So Far in His Career?

Souček is getting used to winning things, which can only be a positive for our relegation battle. Yes, that may mean that he's not used to digging deep to grind out results, but does indicate that he'll arrive with a winning mentality.

He's won the Czech First League twice with Slavia, in the 2016/17 and 2018/19 seasons, and has lifted the Czech Cup in back-to-back campaigns.

Lionel Messi,Soucek

On a personal note, he's taken his game to the next level in the past two years, proving that he's more than capable going forward by showing a keen eye for goal.

Scorer of 18 goals in 49 games in all competitions last year, he was named 2018/19 Czech First League Player of the Year - and has carried that form into this campaign, playing a starring role both at home and in the Champions League.


What Will He Bring to West Ham?

There are two things that ​West Ham have lacked in central midfield for as long as I can remember. 

Pace and physicality.

Souček isn't going to solve our pace problem, I grant you that, but he will add some steel into our midfield. He'll also be handy from set pieces and crosses into the box, as he's a healthy 6'4 tall.

Raheem Sterling,Tomas Soucek,Ondrej Celustka

His most valuable asset, though, is his stamina. The ability to run up and down, side to side, endlessly for 90 minutes is something that West Ham have lacked for too long. Souček will do just that.


Not just a tireless worker, he's also a good passer of the ball and has demonstrated in the Champions League group stages that he has a good temperament. 


His goal record over the past two seasons - 29 in just 71 appearances - is excellent too, which could be pivotal in relieving the obvious burden placed on Sebastien Haller's worn down shoulders.


Why Is He Joining West Ham?

Good question. Souček is clearly capable of playing at a high level, so it's a bit of a mystery why other potential suitors haven't swept in to take him off Slavia's hands, especially as his price (the Hammers reportedly have a €20m option to buy) isn't particularly high.

Tomas Soucek

West Ham and smart transfer decisions don't tend to go hand in hand, but in the case of Souček, we may actually have an exception on our hands. 


Incidentally, should his purchase option be exercised, he'll become the first central midfielder that the Hammers have paid for since Pedro Obiang moved to east London in 2015 - a flabbergasting thing for me to have to write.


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Source : 90min