West Ham: Pablo Maia can replace Soucek

West Ham United could be eyeing a January swoop for a powerful defensive midfielder…

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As per Brazilian publication UOL, Sao Paolo midfielder Pablo Maia has highlighted his dreams of playing in Europe, throwing his future in his homeland up in the air.

The Hammers are name-dropped in the report as holding long-term interest and will likely have to battle with Fulham for the 20-year-old starlet.

It is therefore expected that these two will come in again for the youngster who has been excelling across the Série A and Copa do Brasil, with a fee of around €10m (£9m) expected to be enough to secure his services.

Ditch Soucek

Were they to reignite their interest in January, Maia could provide a solution for both the present and future to sit alongside Declan Rice, with Tomas Soucek having been out of sorts lately.

He would join a long list of Brazilians to have made the switch to the Premier League with success, such as Bruno Guimaraes, Gabriel Jesus, Richarlison and more.

Normally these assets find themselves at a European club before they earn a big money move to England, but David Moyes could skip the middleman and cut straight to the stopper who could help turn his side’s form around.

Described by Football Talent Scout Jacek Kulig as a “Mini-Casemiro”, the strengths listed seem never-ending. 

He names “passing, vision, tackling, positioning, anticipation, work rate” as his key attributes, which are all attractive assets for someone in his position, and admittedly what the Czech Republic international has lacked this campaign.

Having joined as a holding midfielder with an eye for goal, he earned widespread praise for his goalscoring prowess as he enjoyed a ten-goal first full season.

He has since struggled to surpass five goals and has been lambasted for his “awful mentality” at times during the season, particularly by journalist Alan Rzepa.

West Ham's Declan Rice

When was the last time West Ham had an England player go to a World Cup?

Although Maia only boasts 61 total senior appearances, it is clear that he is well-thought-of around Europe.

To earn the earlier comparison to one of his legendary compatriots is glowing praise enough.

Perhaps the diminutive midfielder could add some speed and doggedness into the Hammers engine room, alongside the ever-improving talents of Rice. They could hold down that position for many years to come, should the Brazilian take to English football like so many before him have.

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