Sports : Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal credited with transforming West Ham by Czech legend Antonin Panenka who says more stars could follow to Premier League

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Antonin Panenka believes West Ham stars Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal have helped elevate the status of Czech football and could open the door for more stars to follow to the Premier League.

The pair were part of a Hammers side that finished sixth last season, and for large parts occupied the top four places.


Soucek has been a huge hit with the West Ham fans

Soucek joined from Slavia Prague on loan in January 2020 and that deal was made permanent last summer.

The £19million fee looked like an absolute bargain as he played in every Premier League game and scored 10 goals.

Coufal also joined from Slavia Prague last summer for £5.4million and looked right at home in English football.

The pair are stars for the Czech Republic national side who will face England in their final Euro 2020 group game on Tuesday, which is live on talkSPORT.

Coufal was a steal for the Hammers at £5.4million


Coufal was a steal for the Hammers at £5.4million

Czech legend Panenka, whose name is synonymous with that penalty he scored in the Euro ’76 final, told talkSPORT: “I think that obviously they might get a really good name for Czech football in England. They adapted themselves really well in the Premier League.

“I think they might also have contributed to the changed style of play at West Ham United. Tomas Soucek even scored ten goals, he’s good not only as a defensive midfielder but also as a striker.

“They simply opened the door for other Czech players going to the Premier League in the future.”

David Moyes is reportedly targeting another Czech player this summer in Spartak Moscow midfielder Alex Kral.

Antonin Panenka spoke to talkSPORT about the Czech stars

Antonin Panenka spoke to talkSPORT about the Czech stars

When asked about other players who could be the next Premier League stars, Panenka added: “Unfortunately, I’m not a manager or player’s agent, so I can’t conjure up some names right now, but I do think we have plenty of talent.

“Maybe when some of them adapt their game for the British game, because the Czech game is more soft football. 

“It will be up to them to work hard and change their style of play. Maybe in the near future we will witness more Czech players coming to Premier League clubs.”

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