At this point in time, it’s fair to say that Thomas Soucek has been a pretty good signing for West Ham United.

Initially arriving on loan at the end of the January transfer window in 2020, the Czech Republic midfielder enjoyed a superb half-season at the London Stadium, despite COVID-19 spoiling things.

A permanent move in July for £14.58m followed last summer, and he hasn’t looked back since, establishing himself as a key player for West Ham and a firm fan favourite.

He’s firmly on the long list of David Moyes bargain buys, but it seems things could have been much different for the Hammers.

Embed from Getty Images

Kicker report today that before Soucek arrived at the club, they had another midfielder in mind, Schalke’s Suat Serdar.

They detail how, back in January 2020, West Ham came calling for the 24-year-old with a whopping €45m bid.

Both Schalke and the player rejected that offer, though, a decision which has now come back to haunt them spectacularly.

That’s because Serdar is on the verge of joining Hertha Berlin following Schalke’s relegation, but they’re not going to make anywhere near what the Hammers offered. Instead, he’ll be leaving for a fee close to €8m.

That is, of course, a major blow for the German club, who are now looking back and wondering why they turned down such a monumental offer.

That money could have gone a long way and, with the power of hindsight, been very useful given how COVID has ravaged their finances.

Instead, they’re now taking a base fee of €8m for the player and wondering what might have been, while West Ham are thanking their lucky stars Schalke said no, and they went and got Soucek instead.