Former Premier League striker Noel Whelan believes Lucas Paqueta will have been dealt a reality check when it comes to the pace of the English top-flight on Sunday.

Paqueta was handed just a 5/10 match rating for his performance against Everton at Goodison Park by writer Jonty Colman in a disappointing display for David Moyes’ side.

The £51m club-record signing was making his third successive start but was taking off just after the hour mark as he only managed 32 touches and lost eight of his nine ground duels (SofaScore).

He did appear to struggle with the midfield battle and Whelan feels he struggled with the ferocity of the Premier League.

Speaking to Football Insider he said: “Welcome to the Premier League, young man.

“You don’t have time on the ball, especially when you’re away at Everton – a team looking for their first win.

“It was always going to be a frenetic game, and that midfield area was a key area.

“It wasn’t the easiest game to throw him into. It might have been a game in which you need a bit more experience.

“But when you’re looking to get points on the board as West Ham are, and you’ve paid a lot of money for that player – he’s got to get that opportunity.

“It’s an experience he has to learn from. The spotlight is on him because of the money West Ham paid.

“There’s no doubt he has quality, but that was a really difficult game to stamp your authority on.

“You’re not going to get as much time on the ball in the Premier League as you are abroad.”

Paqueta – who has previously labelled himself a ‘warrior’ – produced 11 goals and seven assists last season and he is clearly a player of extreme quality on both sides of the ball as exemplified by his 33 Brazilian caps.

In 18th place with just three goals scored after seven games, the Hammers need a spark and Paqueta could well be the man to unlock defences for the Irons going forward.

But his career in east London is only in its infancy and it appears that the 25-year-old will need time to acclimatise to England.