“Bad news” – Julen Lopetegui has his say on two West Ham players in first press conference

Lucas Paqueta West Ham

Julen Lopetegui was introduced to the media for the first time as West Ham manager on Monday afternoon and he had a lot to say.

Answering questions on his reasons for choosing West Ham, his preferred style of play, transfer strategy and his current squad, the Spaniard repeated much of what we heard him say in his first interview with the club’s media team after being announced as David Moyes’ replacement.

But this is the first time we’ve heard him speak specifically on certain players within the squad, with Edson Alvarez and Lucas Paqueta being the duo who the press wanted Lopetegui’s view on.

Edson Alavarez injury “bad news” for West Ham

Alvarez suffered a serious hamstring injury in Mexico’s opening Copa America match against Jamaica in June, leaving serious question marks over his ability to feature in claret and blue at the start of the new 24/25 campaign.

And Lopetegui’s comments won’t have done much to quash those concerns as he admitted it’s not a good situation. He said: “The injury to Edson Álvarez is bad news for us.

“We are crossing our fingers. It is not good news for him and us because he is an important player.”

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That is certainly concerning given how important Alvarez was for the club last term and, if he isn’t going to fit in time for the season’s opener at home to Aston Villa, it may have an impact on the club’s transfer plans.

If Alvarez is set to miss a large chunk of the first part of the season, it could force the club to find a replacement, or it could prevent them selling the likes of Flynn Downes, who has been linked with a return to Southampton.

Paqueta has “suffered” alot

Meanwhile, Lopetegui was asked about the situation surrounding Lucas Paqueta. The Brazilian has been handed six charges by the FA, four of which are in relation to betting patterns surrounding yellow cards he allegedly intentionally picked up, while the other two are in relation to allegations that he did not comply with the FA’s investigation.

Paqueta has refuted the charges and insists he is innocent but, while he awaits a hearing date, there are fears that if he’s found guilty, he could face a very lengthy ban from football.

That understandably will have both the Brazilian and the club worried but Lopetegui insisted that he and everyone else at West Ham are going to support him throughout this ordeal and admitted that he was looking forward to having him playing in his team next season.

“We know Lucas Paquetá and his family have suffered a lot,” he said.

“But I liked seeing him smile in his last match, because he’s enjoying his football. We are his family, this Club is his family, and we’re going to take care of him a lot. We’re looking forward to having him play with us on the pitch.”

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The 26-year-old was instrumental in Brazil’s recent Copa America victory over Paraguay, registering a goal and an assist, while also missing a penalty.

What do you think?

Written by James Jones

James Jones is an experienced football journalist of over 10 years and a West Ham season ticket holder of over 30 years. He is the founder of and West Ham 365, as well as the co-founder and co-host of the We Are West Ham Podcast.

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