The Hashtag United founder, who himself is a known West Ham fan, has suggested that seeing the England midfielder leave would be a blow, but ultimately could be the best course of action for his career in the long run.
Speaking on Saturday Social, when asked to name players who could improve Man United’s current squad, he said: “This one hurt me big time, but if I take my bias out of the equation I think it would be a good purchase and a good move for the player – and that player is Declan Rice.
“If it was up to me, I would have him stay at West Ham, of course, but unless we kick on and finish top four and play European football, he needs that exposure if he’s going to step on if he’s going to stay in the England team.
“I think we’ve got maybe one more season at the most. £100 million? If he goes, I hope he goes for that much.”
Nobody in east London wants to lose Rice, but if he were to go, £100 million would certainly help to soften the blow somewhat. Make no mistake, the England international is far from being the perfect player, but his potential is sky high, and he is already one of the better defensive midfielders in the Premier League. So far this season he has averaged a pass completion rate of 89.5%, as well as 3.8 tackles and 2.9 interceptions per game, as per Whoscored. In short, he is wonderfully adept at breaking play up and recycling possession, and both of those qualities would be invaluable for a Manchester United side that are thoroughly on the ropes at the moment. Owen’s comments may not be the most popular, but in their heart of hearts, many West Ham fans would surely have to agree with him.