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West Ham United: Henry Winter delivers Rice transfer verdict

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Journalist Henry Winter has stated that West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice would ‘deserve’ a move to a Champions League side should he leave the club, following comments he recently made to the media.

Rice’s focus at the minute is on England and the World Cup, but during a recent press conference, the Hammers ace reiterated his desire to play in Europe’s elite competition.

And in reaction, Winter took to Twitter to offer his take on what he had to say.

The Times journalist said: “He was asked about the Champions League and about his ambitions, and obviously there’s been a lot of speculation about Rice’s future at West Ham United. There are so many teams who would want to sign Declan Rice.

“It will be an emotional wrench for him to leave West Ham, he’s played 206 times for them, captains them, cares a lot about them, but clearly, the elite clubs are going to come knocking. Probably not in January, they’ll probably wait till the summer, but he would walk into most Champions League midfields because he is that good. And he deserves this opportunity.

“I think if he handles his departure well, I don’t think West Ham fans will necessarily begrudge him this opportunity, because he’s done so much for them and he probably could have gone earlier.”

TIF Thoughts on Winter’s comments about Rice…

Rice is a top-class player and we believe he’s definitely ready to make the step up to a side that plays Champions League football.

The Hammers midfielder, who England teammate Jude Bellingham has described as a ‘top player’ in the past, is very intelligent when it comes to reading the game. He places in the top 6% for passes completed and interceptions among midfielders over the past year (as per FBref).

Meanwhile, Sofascore ranks Rice as West Ham’s best player in terms of average match rating this season at 7.27 amid a disappointing season for the Hammers, who are 16th in the Premier League and one point away from the relegation zone.

According to Football Insider, Liverpool are among those interested in signing Rice. The same report states that the club want to bring in a big-name midfielder come the summer.

Meanwhile, one of his close friends and England teammates Mason Mount is at Chelsea, so perhaps the Blues man could put in a word to Graham Potter to try and get him signed.

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