West Ham found a star from their academy when Declan Rice broke into the first team and this hasn’t gone unnoticed, with the defensive midfielder linked with Chelsea of late, but former England striker Darren Bent believes that the east London side will be able to hold onto the player for next season.
The 21-year-old has had a great campaign for the Irons, as he has managed on average three tackles and 2.1 interceptions a game, per WhoScored, whilst he has continued to be picked in Gareth Southgate’s England squad, with seven caps for the Three Lions, per Transfermarkt.
Speaking to Football Insider about Rice, Bent said, “I think West Ham will be able to hold onto him,”
“It is a difficult one with Declan Rice because he is a very good player and it’s a position where a lot of people are looking for the next superstar to play in there.
“He’s well coveted, is Declan Rice, but I’d like to see West Ham keep hold of him for another year, if not longer, and then maybe after go. It’d be nice to see Declan Rice play another season there and do really well.”
It’s hard to disagree with Bent on the quality of the player West Ham have in their ranks, which is highlighted by his aforementioned statistics emphasising how good he is at breaking up opposition attacks, and it would be understandable if some Hammers fans feared that he would soon leave.
However, the Irons are still a Premier League side and Rice is still young, so they should not feel like he needs to rush a move to a team fighting near the top yet.
If the Hammers can stay in the top flight, there is also another big reason as to why Bent may be so positive about him remaining at London Stadium. He has a special bond with the club as they signed him up after he was released from Chelsea’s academy, per Transfermarkt.
If he did make a move to a higher-placed team, no matter his potential, he cannot be guaranteed consistent football like he is getting at West Ham and, for now, there should be no rush for him to move.
Hammers fans, do you share Bent’s optimism about Rice staying at London Stadium? Comment below with your views!
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