He may not yet have reached the levels David Moyes and West Ham fans know he is capable of, but Brazil star Paqueta showed flashes that the Hammers have a real gem on their hands in the win over Wolves.
Paqueta was substituted in the 74th minute of West Ham’s vital 2-0 win.
The midfielder is clearly still finding his feet in the Premier League after his club record move from Lyon.
The 25-year-old gave the ball away or was caught in possession a few times.
Declan Rice blown away by something he saw from ‘out of this world’ Lucas Paqueta and wants him to feel free at West Ham
But he showed some sublime touches in moments mixed with hard graft for the team which have set the stage for him to go on and become a real West Ham hero.
And Paqueta’s captain was sufficiently impressed.
Rice was blown away by something he saw from ‘out of this world’ Paqueta and wants him to feel free at West Ham.
“I see it everyday in training,” Rice said on West Ham TV after the game.
“Some of the play and passes that were played today – I think Paqueta played one in the first half with his left foot, it was just out of this world.
“We need to keep getting him on the ball, keep making him feel free, feeling like he can do whatever he wants, giving him that confidence.”
Rice is absolutely spot on here.
Players like Paqueta are game changers and they need to play without shackles to get the very best out of them.
The things he tries won’t always come off for West Ham. But when they do they will win the Hammers matches and result in goals.
You only have to watch him play for Brazil to see that is the case.
Moyes likes his players to be disciplined and not surrender position or turn the ball over too easily.
But as Rice advises, the Scot will have to give the likes of Paqueta more licence and leeway to try things and be adventurous and brave.
Once it fully clicks, it will be a sight to behold.