West Ham United have always appeared vulnerable to an injury to star man Declan Rice. There is precious little depth behind him as it is, but the situation could soon get a whole lot worse.
That’s because there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding the futures of the two players in the West Ham squad who currently represent Rice’s back ups.
Claret & Hugh reported on Monday that it’s almost certain that defensive midfielder Carlos Sanchez will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season, while Football Insider claim that Conor Coventry’s contract talks with the Hammers have hit crisis point.
That means that the two players who would currently stand to step in were Rice to go down injured could be gone from the London Stadium come the end of the season.
However, there is a solution in sight. Claret & Hugh’s report also mentions that young Irons midfielder Josh Cullen could be offered an extension to his contract, which expires at the end of the campaign, after impressing on loan at Charlton Athletic over the past year plus.
The 23-year-old is in his second season at The Valley and has made the step up to Championship football seamlessly. Certainly, he could be the man to benefit from the uncertainty surrounding Messrs Sanchez and Coventry.
When you look at how he has performed this term you absolutely have to say that West Ham need to give him a new deal. The statistics show he has been tremendous for Lee Bowyer’s side.
As per WhoScored.com, the Republic of Ireland international is currently averaging 1.4 key passes per game, despite mainly being a defensive-minded midfielder.
He’s also averaging 1.7 tackles, one interception, 1.5 clearances and 0.5 blocks per outing for the Addicks. This is someone who can do a bit of everything in midfield, in the mould of Rice himself.
With that said, it would be bizarre for the Hammers to allow him to leave for nothing come the summer. They need to hand him fresh terms – he’s earned it.