Date: 17th May 2019 at 11:26am
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Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith has delivered his verdict on West Ham United’s upcoming transfer business, particularly the future of Declan Rice.

The Hammers spent big money last season, but it’s unlikely that they will be as active in this summer’s transfer window. Smith believes keeping hold of Rice should be their priority.

“I don’t think they will be making too many signings as they made so many last summer and they will be hoping some of those players kick on in their second season,” he told Sky Sports.

“There has been some speculation that Declan Rice could leave, which would be a real blow. He has been one of their success stories. It’s been great to see him adapting to that role in midfield. They certainly wouldn’t want to lose him as he has come through the ranks and he is a big fan favourite. Pellegrini and the board will be well aware of that.”

OPINION

Smith hits the nail on the head, here. It’s expected to be a fairly quiet summer of spending at the London Stadium, particularly in comparison to last summer. Manuel Pellegrini made a big splash with his transfer activity a year ago and it’s unlikely he will have the funds to do so again. It’s more likely that two or three quality players arrive to strengthen the impressive spine they already have in place. As Smith says, though, it’s absolutely imperative that the Hammers keep hold of Rice moving forward. He is their single most valuable commodity and they’re simply not going to make sufficient progress if they don’t hold onto him. He’s a top quality player and he enjoyed a phenomenal season so, as Smith says, it would be a truly massive blow were the club to lose him this summer. Hopefully, though, he remains where he is for another year at the very least.