Sky Sports pundit and former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell expects West Ham United to ‘cash in’ on star midfielder Declan Rice and offload him this summer.
Rice, 22, has become a superstar of the Premier League in recent years. Having started his career in the Chelsea youth team, he joined the Hammers in 2014. And it was not too long before the Londoner was handed a first-team opportunity.
The midfield enforcer made his Premier League debut against Burnley on the final day of the 2016-2017 season. And he has gone from strength to strength, with 131 top-flight outings for the East End outfit.
England came calling in 2019 and Rice has now earned 24 Three Lions caps. He was one of Gareth Southgate’s best players as England reached the final of Euro 2020 this summer.
Unsurprisingly, the hard-working schemer has been linked with a move away from West Ham. Former club Chelsea are said to have their eyes on the ex-Republic of Ireland youth star.
Reports in July suggested the Blues were preparing an opening bid for the player. There is still time for a deal to be done despite nothing materialising to date.
And, speaking to Football Insider, Campbell believes that is exactly what will happen.
“West Ham can get big money, they know they can get big money,” he said. “This is all part and parcel of being at West Ham at times.
“They are a big club but unfortunately, they are a selling club and they have to cut their cloth accordingly.”
West Ham to benefit from ‘fantastic job’
There is no question that Rice has developed into a top-class player at the London Stadium. Hammers chief Davis Moyes does not want to lose his midfield general.
It has been rumoured that club officials are looking to offer him a bumper pay rise to remain on the books. But, with finances tight, Campbell feels it is inevitable the Londoners will take the money and allow their star to move on.
“Declan Rice, they’ve taken him from Chelsea, brought him in and look how they’ve developed him,” he added. “He’s a starter for England so it’s a fantastic job done by everyone at the football club.
“But there is that next level and he wants to go to the next level and they can cash in on that.”