The 20-year-old has emerged as one of the finest central midfielders in the Premier League, which has naturally attracted the attention of some of the division’s heavy hitters.
So the supporters would have been hoping manager Manuel Pellegrini would send a defiant message on the youngster’s future after Sunday’s final day 4-1 victory over Watford.
Alas, not quite: “He had a brilliant season, is 20 years old, English” he said at his post match press conference, as per Football London. “He has a lot of quality, age, personality. All the big teams will want him.”
‘All the big teams will want him’, what sort of thing is that to say about your star man? Rice is the most precious commodity at the London Stadium at the moment, so why is the Chilean seemingly attempting to ramp up interest in him from elsewhere?
The Hammers fans will likely be fuming over his words, here. Yes, what he says is probably true, but the fact that he’s saying it tells its own worrying story.
West Ham are an ambitious club, anyone who has watched them over the past few years knows that. They’ve got the stadium, the manager, all they need is the squad to compete towards the top of the division. So how would potentially selling your best player help achieve that aim?
That last sentence is just a bizarre thing to say and is not what the supporters want to hear in the least. Come on, Manuel. Try and do better.