West Ham supporters in the Transfer Tavern are praying for an upturn in fortunes as they enter a new era under David Moyes.
Last time out in the Premier League, the Hammers suffered a damaging 4-1 defeat at home to Liverpool – a result which ended Slaven Bilic’s tenure at the club. And the West Ham board wasted no time in appointing former Everton and Manchester United boss Moyes as his successor, and the quick turnaround has given the Scotsman plenty of time to build an understanding with his players on the training ground during the international break.
The 54-year-old is still in the early phases of getting to know his players, so it is unlikely he will be interested in offloading any of the current talent until he has had ample time to experiment with team selections and formations.
With that being said, Moyes will be concerned by reports coming from Italian media outlet Corriere dello Sport (via CalcioMercato) last night, which link defender Angelo Ogbonna with a move to Italian heavyweights AC Milan.
And, although at first glance the sale of Ogbonna may appear detrimental to West Ham’s season, it could actually encourage Moyes to promote English hot prospect Declan Rice to the first team on a regular basis and enable Rice to realise his full potential.
The 18-year-old has already featured for West Ham four times off the bench this season in the Premier League, and also managed one start away at Southampton in August.
But his most notable contribution was in the Carabao Cup, where he has started and finished all three of the club’s victories in the competition so far this season, including a wonderful performance in their 3-2 win at Tottenham in the previous round.
The quality of Rice’s performances so far this season have the Claret and Blue army in the Tavern demanding further involvement for the youngster as the season progresses.
And should the West Ham hierarchy of David Gold and David Sullivan decide to cash in on Ogbonna in January, and thus competition for places at centre-back are reduced, Rice should be given an opportunity to prove he is capable of stepping up to the highest level of English football at just 18 years of age.
West Ham fans… what do you think? Let us know!