It has been hard to ignore Declan Rice’s performances with when this West Ham side have struggled this season. Regardless of when the Irons found themselves in the bottom three, the 21-year-old has been an incredibly consistent performer, recording an average match rating of 7.02.
Unfortunately, though for the Irons faithful, it is not just supporters who have noticed the prominent displays of the England international and it has been suggested that both Chelsea and Manchester United may be interested in acquiring his services this summer.
Rice is one of the last academy players at West Ham to have worked under the legendary Ex-academy director Tony Carr. The man who oversaw the development of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole revealed his concern that the defensive midfielder may be next in line to depart East London.
What did he say?
Speaking to the We Are West Ham Podcast, Carr said: “I’m a little bit concerned. I hope he stays with West Ham I really do. He’s developing into a top player. His goal the night against Watford – terrific.”
“I hope he just comes out and says ‘I’m happy to stay at West Ham. I’m still developing as a player, they’ve brought me from obscurity, released from Chelsea, and now into the England team,” added the former academy director and player.
Time to think
West Ham assured Premier League survival with a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford last night and appearing for 90 minutes once again means Rice continued his record of having not missed a second of top-flight action this term. Only six other outfield players have featured for every single Premier League minute, and it would be a mightily impressive way for the defensive midfielder to round off his season if he can do so again in the final match against Aston Villa.
Though after having scrapped all the way through this campaign, the seven cap England international will reportedly have a decision to make if Chelsea, who have been strongly linked with a move, do come in for the 21-year-old. As car mentioned the Blues released Rice at youth level and he would love to see the Hammers academy graduate repay the faith the Irons had in him.