A new £50m Hammers bid for Leeds United ace Kalvin Phillips surely casts a shadow over West Ham star Tomas Soucek.
It was confirmed this weekend that West Ham had seen a £50m bid for Leeds star Raphinha rejected (Sky Sports).
The move took many fans by surprise given the Brazilian predominantly operates off the right-hand side of midfield or a front three – where the Hammers have the brilliant Jarrod Bowen.
Well there was an even bigger surprise for West Ham fans last night when The Evening Standard claimed David Moyes has offered the same amount for Raphinha’s Leeds teammate Kalvin Phillips.
The classy Leeds central midfielder rose to prominence in the summer when he starred in the heart of England’s midfield alongside West Ham’s own talisman Declan Rice.
And it appears Moyes wants to try and recreate that partnership at club level with an ambitious but rather puzzling £50m move for Phillips.
The bid has reportedly been rejected and it remains to be seen whether West Ham try again.
But it certainly casts a shadow over West Ham star Soucek.
Way back in October Hammers News suggested the new dynamic between Rice and Soucek was having a major impact on big Czech fan favourite’s form and effectiveness.
And that has proved to be the case with Rice allowed much more freedom to roam all over the pitch as a more typical number eight.
Rice has not been getting the goals and assists – as yet – and neither has Soucek having had his wings clipped.
Moyes conceded earlier this season that Soucek’s game was suffering as a result of his change in tactics to allow Rice the freedom to get forward more.
It was telling that Soucek put in one of his best performances of the season and looked much more liked the player we saw last season when West Ham were without Rice for the 4-1 win at Watford, in which the ex Slavia Prague man scored.
New £50m bid for Leeds ace Kalvin Phillips casts shadow over West Ham star Tomas Soucek
On the face of it the move for Phillips raises a number of questions. West Ham would not be signing a £50m player to compete for a place in the starting XI.
So fans will understandably wonder what it means for Soucek.
The 26-year-old is currently said to be in contract talks with West Ham having been linked with a host of clubs including Bayern Munich.
Hammer of the Year Soucek was in the top 10 Premier League players statistically last season. Only Dimitri Payet, Scott Parker and Paolo Di Canio have managed that in West Ham’s Premier League history.
Perhaps Moyes has a vision of Phillips in central midfield alongside Rice with Soucek playing a more advanced role – almost as a second striker?
Some sections of the media will likely put two and two together and try to suggest the move means West Ham are preparing to say goodbye to Rice in the near future.
But if anything the new £50m bid for Leeds ace Phillips casts a shadow over his West Ham teammate Soucek.
It is certainly a strange twist so late in the window and remains to be seen how it pans out.