Declan Rice has gone on record and says that he wants West Ham in the Champions League next season. The Hammers currently occupy a spot in the Premier League top four, which, if they hold onto, will see them qualify for the most prestigious tournament in Europe.
West Ham moved into the top four after beating Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham side 2-1 at the London Stadium, leapfrogging Chelsea in the progress. The Hammers are the top dogs in London, but Rice has lofty ambitions and wants more at the end of the season.
"“Oh yeah one Hundred per cent, I think I would be wrong if I sat here and said it was not something I was thinking about. I want to be in those places now, this club is where it deserves to be, it is a massive club and we have quality.”Declan Rice on Champions League ambitions."
Declan Rice would be the first player in West Ham history to lead the club out in the Champions League should the club qualify for the tournament.
The Hammers have never qualified for the Champions League since it’s inception in the 1992/93 season. The club have played in the Europa League a few times; in fact, they have competed in the competition twice in the last five years. However, both campaigns ended in qualification defeat to Romanian side FC Astra Giurgiu.
West Ham have qualified for the European cup once in their history. The Hammers finished third in the 1985-86 season. They did not get to play in Europe, though, as English clubs were banned from the European cup due to a riot between supporters of Liverpool and Juventus at the Heysel Stadium in which 39 people died.
Rice, however, believes the club is where is deserves to be. The next four games are make or break for the Hammers. West Ham face tough matches against Manchester City, Leeds, Manchester United and Arsenal.
"“I think the next four games are massive for us. If we get through these with a good amount of points then who knows. We will be down to single-figure games, and then we can counting down to see how much further we have to go.”Declan Rice told TalkSport"
The David Moyes has built around Rice has the quality to sustain their challenge to the establishment of the Premier League. The English midfielder has called the team the ‘best’ one since he broke into the team.
While Champions League will remain a very ambitious target, teams like Chelsea and Liverpool will not want to lose out themselves. The Hammers will be comfortable in knowing that a Europa League spot is almost all but confirmed, especially if Manchester City win the League Cup.