Slavia Prague fans will know about the outstanding football skills of Tomas Soucek. But the Czech star has recently been making a big splash in the English Premier League. After six years on Slavia Prague’s books, Soucek made the switch to join West Ham United in 2020.
The London club has proven to be a very welcoming place for the defensive midfielder. He scored two very important goals against tough opposition and sealed his place at West Ham by signing a four-year contract. But how has this 25-year old come to be one of the Czech Republic’s most promising footballing export?
Soucek hit the headlines when he scored his first league goal for Slavia Prague in the club’s 4-0 win over FC Vysocina Jihlava in August 2015. This earned him a regular spot in the team in the 2015/16 Czech First League. However, Soucek had a tricky following season and found his way out on a Slovan Liberec loan deal.
This experience gave the midfielder the motivation to improve his game, and he returned Slavia Prague, a reborn player. His performance in the 2017/18 Czech Cup final helped Slavia Prague beat Jablonec, and it was little surprise that Soucek built on this to pick up the Czech First League Player of the Year award in the 2018/19 season.
Although this caused Slavia Prague to sign Soucek to a five-year deal, the footballer’s natural talents meant that it wasn’t long before even larger European clubs came knocking. After plenty of rumors on the transfer market, the London club West Ham United snapped up Soucek to a loan deal in January 2020.
West Ham had been suffering from a torrid year in the Premier League and had just sacked their manager Manuel Pellegrini. But with the return of manager David Moyes, it was clear that fresh blood was needed for the West Ham team, and Soucek was called in to strengthen up the weak midfield. It turned out that the Czech star was exactly what West Ham needed with his blend of defensive strength and attacking speed. His 6ft 4in stature gave the club the extra presence for dealing with corners, and Soucek’s raw energy inspired a previously tired-looking West Ham team.
After a series of promising performances, Soucek became a West Ham favorite when he scored his first goal for the club in a hugely important 3-2 win over their London rivals Chelsea. What made this goal all the more sweet was the fact that Soucek’s previous effort had been controversially disallowed by VAR.
Soucek’s confidence grew from here, and he scored another excellent goal against Newcastle United in their 2-2 draw. This helped West Ham get more critical points and ultimately helped the club out of the drawn-out relegation battle that had blighted their season.
As a result, the midfielder was signed to West Ham on a four-year contract for £19 million. It’s a remarkable turnaround for a player who was once shipped off on a loan deal from Slavia Prague. Still, many football fans will now be visiting some of the sportsbooks featured at betting resources such as www.captaingambling.com and will put Soucek in their fantasy sports teams.
So what’s next for Tomas Soucek? The star has made starting appearances in West Ham’s games in the new Premier League season. Sadly, things haven’t gone too well for the London club with defeats against Newcastle United and Arsenal’s likes. But Soucek has managed to get a regular place in the West Ham midfield and will be hoping to guide the club to greater things.
Plus, it’s important to note that Soucek has become a commanding figure in the Czech Republic national team. His goal against Montenegro in September 2019 was pivotal to helping the national side get automatic qualification to the final tournament of the delayed UEFA 2020 competition. His talent will be on display again for the Czech Republic next summer.