George Parris: ‘We have known for months that Rice was going, why haven’t we bought any players?’

Every club has to reinvent when they lose certain players and this was the time to flash the cash as we got top dollar for Rice

Declan Rice (WHU) at the West Ham United v Leicester City EPL match, at the London Stadium, London, UK on November 12, 2022.

I’m sure there are plenty of West Ham fans who are apprehensive about this season. For me, my apprehension mainly stems from us selling Declan Rice and not bringing any one else in. We knew we had to invest prior to Dec going, and the fact we haven’t signed anyone is a real worry for me.

This was the time to flash the cash as we got top dollar for Rice and as we all know, there is a price most clubs will take for their players. Every club has to reinvent when they lose certain players. Man City are constantly reinventing themselves and starting afresh.

We should have been able to sign a few players and then got on with our new-look side. What worries me is that, despite what those high up say, we are a club that sells our best players and it seems like more players are being linked away than we are interested in.

As I say, everyone has got their price and it might be one or two players who are moved on before the window closes, but will they be replaced? I felt like we needed at least another centre back and centre forward, the spine of the team is so important, and I felt we needed to invest in these positions

One blessing for us might be that we did invest heavily last summer and now these players have had a year to adjust and settle into life at West Ham, and might be able to kick on this campaign and show us just how good they are. It’s going to be very interesting to see what the first side Moyes puts out, assuming everyone is fit, and how we set up.

If we can transfer last season’s European form to the league then we’ll be more than OK but I know that’s easier said than done. All the other clubs in the league have invested and bolstered their squads and right now, I think the most we can hope for in the league is a top half finish.

Before a ball is kicked at the start of the season, there are some sides you can already place, the so-called Big Six, although it feels like the Big Seven now. Man City, United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea and Newcastle will all be there or thereabouts this season.

If we can finish above any of them then that’s a great season but I do think a top 10 finish is realistic. We need to hit the ground running and get good results. If not, there’s a chance we might only pick up one win in the first five games and that’ll put a lot of pressure on Moyes again – even with a new trophy in the cabinet.

Speaking of Rice and Arsenal, even though the Gunners have flashed the cash this summer, there’s no guarantee that they will have another good season. Some of those games where Arsenal beat the so-called Big Six, these sides might beat them and that can have a huge impact on how they get on.

One other worrying story from over the summer has been the players moving to the Saudi league. Money talks, that’s all it is. I don’t know much about the league.

You see the sides these players are signing for, you’re like: ‘Who are they?’ but this league is now only going to get bigger with the quality of players they now have playing there. This issue is very much here to stay and I just hope the Premier League and West Ham can still attract the top players.

I don’t blame the players for taking the chance to go out there. If I was in the same position, what would I do? Everyone’s different, and it depends on where you are in your career, but it’s a hard offer to turn down. Take Jordan Henderson. It’s a no-brainer as far as I can see. He’s won everything and he’s getting on.

Finally, I’m looking forward to seeing who we get in the Europa League group stages. I’m keeping everything crossed that the draw is kind to us and that we don’t get a group of death.

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