Journalist Josh Bunting has praised West Ham United midfielder Lucas Paqueta for his ‘quality’ performance against Fulham on Sunday.
The Lowdown: WHU vs FUL
After eight games of the Premier League season, the Hammers sit just outside of the relegation zone in 15th place with seven points. Fulham, on the other hand, have exceeded expectations thus far this season, having gained 11 points from their opening eight matches, seeing them in the top half of the table in ninth place.
Therefore, David Moyes will have been fuming with his side’s start to the fixture. After just five minutes, out of nowhere, Andreas Pereira hit a beautiful strike past Lukasz Fabianski.
However, in the 29th minute, the Irons won a needless penalty as the Fulham goalscorer pulled Craig Dawson to the ground during a corner, despite referee Chris Kavanagh having warned the player three times about his hands.
To the fans’ delight, new West Ham duo Gianluca Scamacca and Paqueta combined in the 63rd minute to net the Hammers’ second goal, with Michail Antonio netting a late third, clinching the east London club three points with a much-needed 3-1 victory.
The Latest: Bunting’s claim
During the game, Paqueta was an obvious standout in Moyes’ XI.
Having made 69 touches of the ball, the Brazil international completed 44/53 accurate passes, demonstrating an impressive 83% pass accuracy (via SofaScore).
Furthermore, the attacking midfielder was everywhere offensively and defensively, having won four ground duels and two aerial duels, having also taken four shots at goal.
More importantly, he assisted Gianluca Scamacca’s goal in the side’s 3-1 victory at the London Stadium.
Impressed by his performance, Bunting took to Twitter to sing the 25-year-old’s praises, where he claimed:
“Tails up for West Ham, Lucas Paqueta’s technical ability is a total joy, just raises the quality in that team.”
The Verdict: Huge signing
Having signed for the Hammers in the summer in a club-record deal worth £51m, the Brazilian is thus far living up to his sizeable price-tag.
When looking at his underlying stats, his all-round abilities shine through to the forefront. As per FBRef, compared with positional peers across Europe over the past year, the playmaker ranks in the 99th percentile for pressures, in the 96th percentile for tackles, and in the top ten percent for progressive passes received, passes attempted and progressive passes made.
Therefore, having come into Moyes’ starting XI and laid down his ability to dictate play in the middle of the park, Paqueta’s arrival at the London Stadium will be seen as a fantastic piece of business by GSB. With an undeniable quality having been added to the Hammers’ attacking ranks, his £51m move sends a major signal of intent to the rest of the Premier League.
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