West Ham United’s opening to the season has not quite panned out how the supporters expected it to following their extravagant summer spending spree, but it’s not only events on the pitch which have given the supporters genuine cause for concern.
Whilst the Hammers were hell-bent on bringing in plenty of new players into the club they appeared to neglect a far more important issue: keeping their best players at the London Stadium.
Andriy Yarmolenko, Jack Wilshere and Felipe Anderson all evoked plenty of excitement amongst the Hammers faithful due to their prestigious footballing backgrounds, but it is those players whom have risen through the youth ranks who typically stay close to the hearts of the Hammers faithful.
At this moment in time Declan Rice is the club’s most promising young talent whom the fans are beginning to adore, but a promising debut season as a senior player during the 2017/18 campaign was apparently insufficient to convince the West Ham board to offer a lucrative contract to the 19-year-old.
So what now for Rice? Well, a recent report from the London Evening Standard claims that Rice has rejected a new deal worth £20,000 per Premier League start, with Rice’s representatives seeking a higher basic salary with fewer incentives.
In a modern era in which wages are inflated beyond comprehension and agents seek to squeeze every penny possible in the interests of both themselves and their clients, it’s no surprise that Rice’s future is proving to be far from straightforward.
But regardless of the complexity or tediousness of the deal, the West Ham board simply have to reach an agreement with Rice to secure the long-term future of an exceptionally promising talent.
Although Rice (valued at £9 million by Transfermarkt) is a solid presence in central defence, he possesses a level of technical quality which suggests he can become a lynchpin in a midfield anchor role.
Speculation concerning his future is bound to persist until an agreement has been reached or Rice makes an announcement, so it’s vital that the West Ham board reach a swift conclusion as an undesirable weight of intensity will be added to the speculation if a new deal continues to remain elusive when the January transfer window reopens for business.
The future is bright for Rice wherever he decides to pursue his career and it’s down to the board to secure a huge deal for the club by agreeing terms with the 19-year-old as soon as possible.
West Ham fans – thoughts? Let us know below!