Declan Rice would be wise to overlook interest in him from Manchester United and continue learning his trade at West Ham, according to one of the club’s former strikers.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is in the market for young, hungry and predominantly British players to transform their fortunes around and West Ham star Rice has emerged as a potential target.
However, Dean Ashton thinks the mooted £100m transfer fees being bandied about with Rice’s name is laughable and also thinks the player would be better developing with the Hammers.
Ashton told Goal: “Possibly. I feel as if he’s still got improvements to make and there is no better place to learn and do that than West Ham.
“He might need another season or two under his belt before making a move like there, where suddenly the pressure does become a lot more.
“I certainly wouldn’t be in any rush if I was Declan Rice. I think he’s in the right place to keep progressing his career.
“He reads the game very well, he breaks the play up superbly.
“On the ball nowadays, you want your holding midfield players to dictate tempo and I’m not quite sure he’s got that.
“He’s obviously got Mark Noble to learn off, I think he’s still better than him at that, and where I would like to see improvement is on the ball, being comfortable, being able to dictate the pace in what is such an integral position now.”
There have been valuations flying around in the media but Ashton doesn’t think Rice is currently worth “daft money”.
“I can’t see that. That’s a ridiculous amount for a player of his quality at the moment,” Ashton added.
“I don’t think he’s anywhere near a £100m player. It is daft money nowadays, but I wouldn’t be saying that.
“If that was the case, regardless of how good he has been, then I’m sure West Ham would take that straight away.”