West Ham look set to cash in on Declan Rice this summer following his statements while on England duty at the World Cup.
The inevitable finally looks be here for the Hammers – the star player and captain appears to want to leave to go and compete for big trophies – and with his talent who can blame him.
Rice departing is incredibly sad but there are positives in him going. A new era will begin just as one is needed.
West Ham captain Declan Rice wants to leave the club. The bad news could becoming the start of something exciting.
Firstly, losing Rice will be challenging. It’s very difficult to improve when you lose your best asset, but it is possible. West Ham will also need a new leader to wear the armband.
It’s never been about money for our No.41. Sources have said countless times it’s all about winning for him. West Ham have arguably overachieved the last two seasons with two European finishes and a run to the Europa League semi-final last year. There was always the feeling that the club was one underachieving year away from Rice thinking ‘I’ve gone as far as I can with West Ham’.
That season is happening right now, despite mass summer spending the club sit 17th in the Premier League and David Moyes is under huge pressure. Some may argue a change of manager is needed, others will say we remain a few top players away from having the squad, on paper, that can compete for Europe consistently.
Rice going means West Ham will profit at least £80million. Moyes has often spoke about £100m+ which is still possible. This amount to spend; on top of the cash we’d have anyway is very exciting. It allows us to completely re-build the squad. We are in a transition period at the moment. Moyes has wanted to become more possession based hence the signing of Nayef Aguerd and Lucas Paqueta but it has not worked yet.
An extra £100m to spend allows the club to freshen up the squad and go for this new style. The current crop of players have done themselves proud over the last few years but change is always required. There is a feeling Moyes’ team has been worked out and something new can get us back up the table. What better way to begin the change than having plenty of money to spend.
Tomas Soucek is hardly what’s needed when trying to change to a possession style. Aaron Cresswell has done well this season but is ageing. A new right-back and some more players in the team that get the best out of Gianluca Scamacca and Paqueta could be beneficial. They are players with clear ability but are yet to settle in – they hopefully will soon.
We are half way into freshening up things, taking the next step to continue evolving. It just doesn’t feel like that at the moment due to the poor performances.
There remains the possibility Moyes gets sacked. This is also exciting and would trigger a new era completely. New manager, new captain, and millions for the new man to build whatever he wants. Such money can tempt the likes of Thomas Tuchel or Mauricio Pochettino to make a ‘step down’ to West Ham. It makes us an intriguing project to a new boss.
It’s vital the club spend the money they get from selling Rice well. A quality replacement is needed. West Ham fans must accept the player taking his place will not be as good as him, comparisons will happen but it will be unfair. It seems unlikely West Ham will be in Europe next season so attracting a top talent to replace Rice will be tough.
However, a good way to bring in quality players this summer with Rice going is exploring swap deals. For example, if we sell to Chelsea, could we go for Armando Broja, Christian Pulisic or Ruben Loftus-Cheek as part of the deal.
Rice wanting to go should not catch the club by surprise – we all saw it coming. Hopefully there are plans to recover from the void he will leave behind.
For now, even if Rice chooses to go, there is no doubt he will put in 100% effort until the end of the season and he will be extra motivated to go out on a high and win the Conference League.