Premier League

Securing agreement with 6ft defender would enable West Ham to challenge for Europe next season

The West Ham United fans in the Transfer Tavern have been absolutely delighted with the development of Declan Rice so far this season, and recent reports suggest he will be rewarded for his fine form with a new deal during the summer break. 

Declan Rice made his first ever Premier League appearance for West Ham as an 18-year-old on the final day of the 2016/17 season against Burnley at Turf Moor, and he hasn’t looked back since that moment. The 19-year-old centre-back has been thrown in at the deep end and played a significant role in West ham’s season so far in both his natural centre-back role and as a defensive midfielder.

The Hammers faithful propping up our bar have plenty of time for an academy prospect breaking through the ranks, and they have been mightily impressed by the standard of Rice’s performances during his first full season as a senior player. Rice was guilty of making a guilt-edged error against Arsenal last Sunday as he ducked under Aaron Ramsey’s cross despite having a clear opportunity to head the ball away, and he paid the ultimate price for his error in judgement as the ball found the bottom-corner of the net.

Although Rice was clearly at fault, it must be considered that making mistakes of that nature are part and parcel of developing in the top-flight, and the error will only make him a stronger player in the long-term. Despite Rice’s mistake, West Ham are set to offer him a contract extension this summer on his current deal which expires in June 2020, according to the London Evening Standard.

If the report proves to be true, West Ham will undoubtedly be securing one of, if not their best summer deal, as the club simply have to keep hold of Rice if they wish to challenge for Europa League qualification next season. Rice is far from the finished article just yet, but the excellent progress he has made in a short-space of time suggests he has the potential to become a future England international and a top quality defender in the Premier League.

There’s no doubt that rival clubs will be keeping a close eye on Rice’s development, but the signing of a new contract will temporarily stave off interest from outside the club and give the Hammers faithful a huge confidence boost ahead of the new season.

West Ham fans – thoughts? Let us know below!

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