Who could West Ham’s Rice replacement be following Guardiola’s “admiration?”

Declan Rice, West Ham. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Declan Rice, West Ham. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) /
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Alex Kral, Spartak Moscow
Alex Kral, Spartak Moscow (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images) /

Alex Král

The Spartak Moscow midfielder is the latest Czech Republic international to be linked with a move to the Hammers and its clear to see why. The 22-year-old Czech is having a great season in Moscow which has alerted West Ham’s interest in the player. Alex Kral has been a rock in midfield this season and he is showing fantastic potential.

The Czech international has some impressive stats this campaign and has an average of 1.4 tackles and 1.7 interceptions per game this season according to WhoScored, which are fairly similar to Rice’s numbers this season. As well as this, Kral has also managed four assists from midfield according to TransferMarkt, which shows that the player has the ability to help his team offensively and defensively.

Kral is showing that he has the ability to be a great midfielder and it is no mistake that Moyes is interested in the Spartak Moscow player. Kral fits perfectly into the Scotsman’s new transfer strategy of signing young, hungry and talented players that have a high potential sell on value.

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It is believed that Tomas Soucek has recommended the player to the club, much like he did with Vladimir Coufal and if he is anywhere near as good as the Czech duo, then West Ham would have another great player on their hands. Soucek and Coufal both played with Kral when the midfielder was at Slavia Prague for a season in 2019 and will undoubtedly know the player well. The fact that the youngster knows two current West Ham players could well play out in the club’s favour, should they attempt to get the young talents signature this summer.

Even better news for the Hammers is that they wouldn’t have to break the bank to sign the 22-year-old, with the Athletic’s Roshane Thomas saying that West Ham could only have to pay around £12 million for the player. If Kral is indeed available for that reported fee then West Ham simply have to get a deal for the midfielder over the line this summer, even if Rice stays in East London.

The benefit of signing young and hungry players is that they want to gain experience and will fight for their place in the team. So, if Moyes chooses to bring the Czech in, he would be competing with Rice and Soucek for a spot in the team which would push the midfield duo harder while allowing Kral to adapt to the league and improve.  This would mean that if Rice was to leave later on, then West Ham would have his replacement ready to go. It’s a win-win situation for West Ham.

Signing Kral in the summer regardless of Rice’s situation would be a very smart move by West Ham and it would definitely show that we are learning and improving as a club. He’s a cheaper option but one that has a high pay off if he was to succeed at the London Stadium.