Gonzo has been speaking about the position West Ham United are in with Declan Rice on the Hammers Chat YouTube channel.
Rice has been able to establish himself as a regular for England and as West Ham’s captain when Mark Noble is on the sidelines, all while having been released by Chelsea as a youngster – and the fact that West Ham have developed him and trusted his ability may be a reason as to why he is still at the club and hasn’t left.
Will West Ham make the top four?
It’s not as if Rice has not been attracting interest, with the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City reportedly holding an interest in the midfielder, but with three years still to run on his contract, you would imagine West Ham won’t be letting him go cheap.
Although, given his current stature in the game, the Hammers may find themselves in a tough position soon if they decide whether to sell, or keep him for a few more years and hope he signs a new deal – while taking the risk of losing him for free.
Gonzo is concerned about the position that West Ham and Rice are in.
“I think, to a certain extent, we’re a little bit powerless where Declan Rice is concerned. There’s nothing we can do about that, there really isn’t.
“Where Declan Rice is concerned, if he wants to go, when he goes, he’s almost too big, because he’s a shoo-in for international football and all the rest of it and he’s a starter for England – there’s not a lot we can do about it.”
TIF Thoughts on Rice…
If Rice is to kick on and establish himself as a top midfielder for both club and country, he may need to be playing for a club that can challenge for league titles, but with the Hammers in the Europa League and pushing for a top-four spot this season, he might think he can do that at the London Stadium.
There’s no doubt that Rice will have a whole load of suitors as he’s a young England international capable of playing in a number of different positions and roles – as showcased by his stats, with Rice putting in the most tackles but also progressing the ball forward the most out of anyone at West Ham (FBRef).
With the midfielder’s contract not set to run out until 2024, this saga could rumble on for a while longer yet, but it seems clear that West Ham seem vulnerable to either letting him go before he peaks or losing him for nothing – perhaps both. Therefore, you can see why supporters such as Gonzo would appear to be resigned to losing out one way or another.