The young midfielder has become a firm favourite in east London over a relatively short period of time, and Ex believes that he still has more to come.
“I think he’ll be with us for possibly two, three years more [after that]. It depends on where we go in those years.
“When he’s about 25, that’s when we’ve got to start to worry if we’re still in a similar position.”
To be honest, given the rate that he is progressing at, if the Hammers could keep hold of Declan Rice for another five years that would be a monumental success. The 20-year-old is going to the top one way or another, and if that means that he has to leave West Ham to do so then so be it. Obviously, Rice loves the club, and his departure would not be one that he too lightly, but there comes a point at which certain players cannot be contained by the confines of their boyhood sides and they have to break away. At the moment, the Hammers don’t have to worry too much. Rice is good but he is still very much a prospect. Giving him the armband in the next 18 months would also be an effective way of staving off the bigger clubs that are circling for a time, but if and when he hits his full potential, it is surely only a matter of time before the Irons have to cash in on their prize asset.