West Ham United Need To Do All They Can To Keep Declan Rice

West Ham United are a club with a rich history of producing top talent.

We’ve seen Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, Trevor Brooking, Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole and many more stars blossom after coming through the Hammers youth set-up.

One of the latest to come off of the great academy conveyor belt has been defensive midfielder Declan Rice.

The nineteen year old has already racked up thirty-six Premier League appearances since making his senior debut in 2017. He’s also become a firm favourite with the West Ham support.

After a difficult start to the season, West Ham’s performances started to improve once Rice was given the role of holding midfielder on a regal basis.

The Republic of Ireland international likes getting into the faces of the opposition and breaking up their potential attacks. He relishes a tackle and he’s efficient when it comes to getting the ball to teammates.

In fellow midfielders Jack Wilshere and Mark Noble, West Ham have looked vulnerable in defending transitions due to a lack of pace in midfield. Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini clearly likes that Declan gives the team more balance, discipline and a solid foundation in which they can build from in midfield.

The young middle-man has started nine times in the league this term. In those games; Rice has a 86% passing success record, he’s averaging at 2.6 tackles per Premier League outing this term, he makes around 2.3 clearances, averages 1.8 interceptions and wins 1.2 headers per league fixture (Stats from Whoscored).

West Ham have often lacked consistency in this campaign but in Declan Rice they might have a player who could be reliable when it comes to marshalling in front of the backline. The player is also versatile enough to play as a centre-back, that may eventually become his full time position.

Declan also seems very happy at his current club, if his twitter page is anything to go by:

Yet what’s odd is that the Hammers haven’t tied Rice down to a new long term deal. In fact, the teenager’s contract runs out next summer!

Joe.co.uk suggest that Manchester United could be ready to make the youngster an offer to prize him away from the London Stadium.

In that same JOE article they claim West Ham have offered to up Rice’s wage from £3k a week to £20k a week. Now if I’m being honest, if those figures are correct, I can see why Declan would be holding out for more.

Rice is no longer a bit part player, he’s now a first teamer and is more reliable than summer signing Jack Wilshere and he’s better than fellow holding player Carlos Sanchez. He will also have a much better resale value than those two.

Now maybe West Ham’s hierarchy believe they are handling the contract situation correctly. They won’t want to overspend on academy players and give them fortunes before they are ready for it.

But the problem in Declan Rice’s case is that he can legitimately look around the playing squad and feel the work he does for the team mean’s he worth more than just a youngster’s wage. Plus he’ll no doubt have options if West Ham United can’t get him to re-sign.

For me, The Hammers should offer the defensive midfielder a wage closer to his liking as he could prove to be home-grown star that will save them millions in the long run!


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