Premier League

Pundit View: Bruce believes West Ham must lose of their best to “strengthen squad”

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Having navigated the remainder of the Premier League season with West Ham’s Premier League status intact, David Moyes now has the difficult job of negotiating the summer transfer window. On move that is already threatening to become a saga is Chelsea’s suggested interest in Declan Rice, with manager Frank Lampard reportedly keen to use the England international to sure up his defence.

It has been suggested that the Blues have offered Michy Batshuayi, Ross Barkley or Kurt Zouma as makeweights in the deal, but the Hammers have reportedly rebuffed the proposition. Former Hull City defender Alex Bruce has suggested that if West Ham want to finish higher up the table next term, they may be best off considering the switch.

What did he say?

Speaking to Football Insider, Bruce said: “One thing’s for sure, West Ham do need to improve their squad.

“I think they’ve flirted with relegation for the past few years and next year they want to be looking to have more of a comfortable season and to do that you need to strengthen your squad.”

The former centre back added: “If you can bring in proven Premier League players, like the names that have been mentioned and bring in a couple or three and throw them in as part of a deal for Declan Rice.

“If it’s going to improve the squad, you’re going to have to face facts and lose one of your best players because he wants to go onto bigger and better things, it might not be a bad idea.”

Decision time

Rice has been one of the Hammers’ standout performers this term, and the seven cap England international has not missed a minute of Premier League action for the Irons. The 21-year-old has been sensational at screening the West Ham defence, by making 3.1 tackles per game, along with a team-high 2.1 interceptions per 90 minutes. Unfortunately for Moyes, his imperious displays have not gone unnoticed, and former club Chelsea appear to have made him a transfer target.

Moyes and the West Ham hierarchy must now decide, if he does go, whether it is worth taking on some players who Chelsea deem surplus to requirements, and Bruce has suggested it might not be a bad idea.

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