Football journalist Peter O’Rourke has been sharing his thoughts on West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice and the possibility of him leaving the east London club.
On the subject of Rice, who has been linked with a move away from West Ham in recent weeks, O’Rourke had this to say about the player and a potential West Ham exit.
He said: “I think, ideally, if Declan Rice could move, he would love to go back to Chelsea where it all started for him.
“Obviously, it didn’t happen for him at his first time, but he’s bounced back and really done a great job at West Ham.
“The big concern here is West Ham can’t really afford to let him go unless there’s a crazy offer, and I’m talking probably £100 million I think you’d have to be bidding for West Ham to be thinking to lose Declan Rice.
“He’s just such a talismanic figure for the club right now, for the fans, and I think if they were to sell him this summer for anything less than that, especially to a Premier League rival, it would be a real sucker-punch for the Hammers fans who love Declan Rice, and Declan Rice seems to enjoy playing for West Ham.
“But I think the time will come, if West Ham aren’t able to repeat the success they had last season, then Declan Rice will be looking to move on and be moving to a club challenging for honours on a consistent basis.”
Since making his senior debut for West Ham back in May 2017 under former Hammers boss Slaven Bilic, the 22-year-old, who is currently valued at £58.5 million, has made 144 appearances for the club across all competitions, in which he has managed to score five goals and provide five assists along the way (per Transfermarkt).
TIF Thoughts on Peter O’Rourke’s comments on Rice’s future…
Given how there were only three outfield West Ham players who played more minutes in the Premier League than Rice this season, this shows just how integral he is to David Moyes’ side.
Are you confident Declan Rice will be at West Ham next season?
In terms of a potential move away from the Hammers this summer, with Moyes previously stating that Rice will not be leaving the club, this suggests to us that it would be very difficult for any club interested in signing Rice to be able to make a deal for him.
Also, with the club managing to secure a place in the Europa League for next season, we feel that Rice should stay with the Hammers and help them take on this competition.
However, as O’Rourke suggests, it may not be surprising if he were to move on beyond next season if his stock continues to rise and West Ham fail to reach the heights they did last term – especially with the midfielder now a fully-fledged international.