According to a recent report from The Daily Mail, Declan Rice faces an uncertain future at Premier League side West Ham. The 19-year-old came up through the ranks at the East London outfit and has been a regular feature in the first team in the last 12 months or so, with his performances underlining the bright future he has in the game.
Yet reports suggest that the Hammers and his representatives have yet to agree a new deal, and with his contract up in the summer, the Republic of Ireland international faces an uncertain time.
And after the optimism generated by the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini and several big-name signings during the summer, West Ham simply cannot afford to lose Rice this season, as they would surely be back to square one were that to happen.
Ultimately, there has been much positivity surrounding the Hammers after a very encouraging summer transfer window, which saw big names like Felipe Anderson and Jack Wilshere make the move to the London Stadium.
Yet it has been West Ham graduate Rice, who actually began his youth career at Chelsea before moving to East London in 2014, who has been the star of the show in the last two games, with it no coincidence that the Hammers’ recent upturn of form has coincided with the 19-year-old’s return to the starting eleven.
The versatile youngster was outstanding in helping Pellegrini’s side dominate the middle of the park in their 3-1 win at Everton little over a week ago, before the 19-year-old then produced another hugely mature display in the midfield to thwart Chelsea’s attacking advances in the 0-0 draw with the Blues on Sunday – Rice was clearly instrumental in both results.
Thus, despite all the money that was spent over the summer, it appears that the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international is as vital as anyone currently in the Hammers squad – there’s a reason top Premier League clubs are reportedly keeping tabs on the 19-year-old.
And were the Hammers to indeed lose Rice in the near future as a result of the ongoing contract problems, it would surely come as a huge blow to Pellegrini, the club, and indeed the club’s supporters, what with the 19-year-old coming up through their famous academy to make the grade at the club.
And for all the big money signings made by the East London club this summer, it seems that they still need the homegrown and local talent to get the results on the field – Rice and skipper Mark Noble have been hugely influential in the last few games.
Thus, their summer splurge would surely count for little if they fail to pen Rice down to a new long-term deal.
West Ham fans… what do you think? Let us know!