Declan Rice is now our fourth most highest capped England player and is clearly a world class talent. Pundits regularly offer criticism of his game including former Scottish international Graeme Souness who claimed that Declan doesn’t score enough goals to be truly world class.
A quick look at the international stats show the former Liverpool man, who played in a more attacking role, scored four goals in 54 games, and Declan has three goals in 41 games. Declan responded to Souness’ criticism the game after by scoring against Italy and delivering a man of the match performance. This is what Declan does best, he does his talking on the pitch.
Now some West Ham fans had been unhappy during the World Cup when he expressed a desire to play in the Champions League and win things. Now, of course, we would love this to be in the claret and blue of West Ham, but even the most optimistic of fan must admit it’s highly unlikely we will ever qualify for the Champions League, let alone win that or the league.
After 32 years of having a season ticket, I would love us to just win a cup. As fans we cannot change our teams to get success, even though some shamefully do, but as a player you can.
Whilst Declan loves the club and his family have all bought into us – I always see his brothers and family in the away sections – and would say they are West Ham fans, they started as Chelsea fans and are essentially Declan Rice fans and want the best for him.
A football career is very short lived and judged on medals. Whilst we would all love him to stay at the club forever, sadly I don’t think it will happen.
Declan isn’t motivated by money like some, he has turned down a huge contract offer from West Ham already. He is motivated by success and winning things and in all honesty he has more of a chance of that elsewhere.
Of course, we have a strong chance of winning the Conference League which would be massive for us. But whilst it would give us a platform to build from, I don’t think it is in line for the quality of player Declan is.
He should be playing in the Champions League at a minimum. We could kick on and challenge for the Champions League but Declan is 24 now he has realistically only 10 years left approximately to win trophies.
He doesn’t have time to wait before reaching his dreams. I would question why all the top clubs are not in for him.
There does seem to be some distant interest from abroad with the likes of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. Liverpool have flirted with the idea and Manchester United seemed keen but have recently signed Casimiro.
Man City could be keen but have an abundance of midfielders which leaves his former team Chelsea and Arsenal as the front runners it seems with Arteta seeming like the person making the most noise about his interest.
Now after Chelsea took Lampard, Joe Cole and Glen Johnson off us in the early 2000s, I would hate to see them take Declan. Ideally I would like Declan to move abroad so he doesn’t play for a rival of ours but given the choice of West London or North for his next destination, I would reluctantly pick the Gunners.
I desire a bidding war too, with Chelsea and Arsenal and hopefully others bidding against each other to push his price tag over the £100m mark. Of course, I would love Declan to stay at the club and who knows, stranger things have had in football but I am prepared for his departure.
After all, I am used to this as a middle-aged West Ham fan and like those that have left before, no player is bigger than the club and we will still be here after any player leaves. That said Rice will always get a great reception from me whenever he returns and I hope he does in a playing and coaching capacity at some point.
Speaking of great ex players, we have the one and only Julian Dicks at our pre-match event before the Arsenal game for a Q and A. There are so many perks to our events but one of the main ones is a free unlimited bar included as part of your ticket price. Here is the link: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/thewesthamwayevents/879116
If you sign up to our Patreon you will get £5 off your ticket price and so much more: https://www.patreon.com/thewesthamway
We also have Teddy Sheringham booked in for the pre-match guest for the Manchester United game and further information can be found on our free website. We look forward to seeing you there.