Lucas Paqueta was a terrible choice to start for West Ham against Bristol City on Sunday, January 7, according to David Moyes.
The Brazilian international, who was injured and missed Brighton’s 0-0 draw on January 2, was recruited back into the starting lineup for the FA Cup match.
However, it seems that the 26-year-old attacker was rushed back into the team far too soon after, as he was pulled off the pitch with less than ten minutes remaining due to what appeared to be a knee injury.
The fact that one of his best players left the game so quickly and was replaced by attacker Divin Mubama will be a big worry for Moyes.
After suffering the injury during the 2-0 victory over Arsenal on December 28, Paqueta was ruled out of the Brighton match.
Prior to the match, the Brazilian seemed to be suffering a minor issue. On December 7, when the team defeated Tottenham 2-1, he needed intensive treatment for a leg injury.
Having already appeared in 27 games for the Hammers this season, it’s possible that the midfielder’s forced playing time has caught up to him.
During that period, he has been in excellent form, helping the Irons advance to the Europa League knockout stages and compete for European spots in the Premier League with five goals and six assists.
One of those assists occurred during the first half of the match against Bristol City, when he found Jarrod Bowen open for a goal, which the forward finished four minutes later to put his team ahead.
While Moyes will be happy that his team leads 1-0 at the half, he will be worried about Paqueta’s injury and what it might imply for his team in the coming weeks.
Given his importance to the team, it was, quite frankly, a ludicrous gamble to take if there was any uncertainty about his fitness going into the game.