One of the big concerns that West Ham United have going into the summer is that one of the Premier League’s big boys will steal star man Declan Rice off them.
Luckily for them, however, former Liverpool man Steve Nicol took his old side off the list of teams who could potentially be in for the 20-year-old.
“Before Fabinho came I would have said yes,” He told ESPN FC. “I think he’s very much like Fabinho. No, it’s not happening. They don’t need him, they’ve got Fabinho.”
That is exactly what West Ham fans want to hear: that there’s one less team that will likely be making a move for Rice this summer. They’ll likely have to cope with plenty of enquiries for the England international, they don’t need Jurgen Klopp’s team entering the fray as well.
Nicol is right, though, Liverpool don’t need Rice. They already have Fabinho who does the job of sitting in front of the back four superbly. The Hammers starlet would be an unnecessary extravagance for them.
And that verdict is likely enough to have the West Ham faithful blowing bubbles. They desperately want their academy product to stick around next season, so to be able to check Liverpool off the list of teams interested in him is a big bonus for them.
Obviously Nicol isn’t an official Liverpool source, but he knows the club well and his opinion makes perfect sense. The Hammers need to keep hold of Rice going into the next campaign and this is a big step towards doing that.
You have to take everything with a pinch of salt, of course, but it’s hard to believe that the Reds would pursue Rice when they already have Fabinho in place. That, at least, is cause for celebration for West Ham’s supporters.