Premier League

West Ham landing £10.8m-rated defender could force Declan Rice away from the club

The West Ham United fans in the Transfer Tavern are feeling apprehensive about their side’s position in the Premier League table, but they believe they have more than enough quality to finish comfortably ahead of the bottom-three this season. 

David Moyes’ side have slowly steered clear of the relegation zone this season and with just 4 fixtures left to play it appears they have done enough to remain in the top-flight for another year. The supporters are certainly still harbouring genuine fears of slipping into the bottom-three, but recent reports from the Daily Star suggest their manager is more than confident of staying up this season.

According to the report, Moyes has identified Swansea City’s Alfie Mawson and Brighton’s Lewis Dunk as his two top transfer targets to pursue this summer. Both Mawson and Dunk have been in terrific form for their club’s this season and their performances have played a key role in keeping both the Swans and the Seaguls clear of the relegation zone.

Mawson has been particularly impressive at the heart of Swansea’s defence, and his performances deservedly earned him a call-up to the England squad last month, although he was not used by Gareth Southgate against either Holland or Italy. West Ham’s interest is perfectly understandable given his form this season, but the club must consider that Declan Rice’s development could be affected by Mawson’s arrival.

If Mawson was to move to the London Stadium West Ham would have another option in central defence, and with Winston Reid due to return next season following a troublesome injury problem Rice could find himself playing a bit-part role in East London. Rice has been in terrific form for a player participating in his first full season as a senior player, and the number of opportunities he has been handed appear to be catalysing his progress.

The intensity in competition has been fairly relaxed this season due to both Moyes’ preference to play with three centre-backs and to Reid’s injury, but Mawson’s arrival will serve to increase the intensity once again.

Although Rice may not be enthralled by the prospect of moving away from the club to acquire first-team opportunities, it’s a decision he may be forced to make for the benefit of his career, and if Mawson joins the Hammers it’s certainly a prospect he will need to entertain during the summer break.

West Ham fans – thoughts? Let us know below!

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