West Ham have issued a very unsubtle Lucas Paqueta update ahead of the clash with Crystal Palace and it’s great news.
Just as West Ham’s record signing Paqueta was starting to find his feet in the team and catch the eye in the Premier League he was struck down with an unusual injury in that 1-1 draw at Southampton.
West Ham have beaten inferior opposition Silkeborg and Bournemouth – just about – without him.
But they have also narrowly lost to Liverpool and Man United with Paqueta missing from the side.
The common theme in those two games was a distinct lack of quality in the final pass, finish or touch that gets goals and decides games.
That in itself tells you everything about how West Ham fans – and indeed Moyes – sees Paqueta; the missing piece.
There were signs his link with Gianluca Scamacca threatens to be potent and exciting.
So it is a real shame that just as West Ham were trying to build some momentum to get themselves in a good position before the World Cup break, Paqueta suffered that collarbone ligament injury.
The Hammers boss and fans believe the Brazil star will be the man to help knit West Ham’s industry and organisation to an end product.
Last weekend Moyes suggested his record signing could be back this week.
West Ham will not be risking any key stars as they head to Romania for the dead rubber Europa Conference League final group game against FCSB.
As reported by Hammers News on Monday, hopes have been high that Paqueta will return to the side to face Crystal Palace in a crunch game on Sunday.
Now West Ham have issued a very unsubtle Paqueta update ahead of Crystal Palace and it’s great news.
West Ham’s media team has posted a gallery from training at Rush Green ahead of the matches against FCSB and Patrick Vieira’s in-form Crystal Palace side.
And West Ham fans will be delighted to see Paqueta in full contact training with his Hammers teammates.
Paqueta can be seen in pictures three – although his face is obscured by Pablo Fornals – six and nine on the gallery.
Eagle-eyed fans will also be able to spot Paqueta on the right hand side of the final picture by zooming in.
Paqueta is not expected to travel to Romania and will instead have a full burst of training before that clash with the Eagles.
Win and the Hammers will leapfrog the south Londoners, who have lost just once in their last five Premier League games.
Maxwel Cornet is also said to have been back in contention for the weekend. But there was no sign of him in the pictures from Rush Green.