West Ham United

West Ham United

Premier League • England

West Ham talent urged to stay as club legend discusses new Chelsea links

Ciaran McCarthy
Declan Rice, Michail Antonio, West Ham v Brighton, December 2021

West Ham legend Harry Redknapp has pleaded with Declan Rice to stay put, as the Hammers prove no obstacle in his career ambitions.

Rice has established himself as a top player in the Premier League in recent years. Indeed, West Ham have benefitted from the midfielders quality throughout the last couple of seasons, especially.

Rice is proving himself to be more than just a regular defensive midfielder. Indeed, the star’s performance in the Hammers’ EFL cup loss against Tottenham showed all the hallmarks of a great midfield player.

His quick feet in tight spaces, as well as sublime distribution, gained him a match rating of 7.7, per WhoScored.

Of course, there has been speculation about Rice moving on from West Ham, given these kinds of performances are a regular occurrence. Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United are all reportedly keen on the midfielder.

Indeed, recent reports claim Rice is likely to be the subject of renewed interest from Chelsea in 2022.

However, Redknapp has urged Rice to remain at West Ham, as playing there proves no hinderance on his career at present.

“I think he’s in a great place at West Ham, and I’d like to see him stay there long term,” he said via TalkSport.

“He’s in the England team, so it’s not holding him back at all. To me, West Ham look like a team who are on the up. They could be challenging for trophies in the next year so hopefully, for West Ham’s sake, he stays another few years there.”

West Ham interested in Dele Alli

West Ham are reportedly ready to up their efforts to launch a surprise raid on Tottenham for midfielder Dele Alli, after seeing their hopes to land Jesse Lingard all but ended.

Indeed, Rice has been afforded a major role in the England side due to his West Ham performances. What’s more, the Hammers current form has them on track to secure another year of European football.

Indeed, West Ham were in stellar form in the Europa League group stages. Furthermore, that form places them as one of the favourites in the knockout stages.

Redknapp assesses potential Rice destinations

Declan Rice West Ham

Redknapp also feels that of the big sides interested in Rice, one has less chance than the others.

“He’s very much a massive part of the team at West Ham. It’s a great club to be at, and unless he’s going to go Man City, maybe Man United or whatever. He’s been at Chelsea as a kid, so I think that’d be difficult one for them, to spend the money having given him away when he was young,” he said.

Despite Redknapp’s assessment, it is not out of the realms of possibility that Chelsea will swoop for the former Blue. Indeed, they splashed big on Romelu Lukaku in the summer, after selling him to Everton in 2014.

However, it does seem Rice is enjoying his football at West Ham, and he is a capable leader at such a young age. Should he move on, he would likely relinquish the leadership role he has at the Hammers.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: West Ham make U-turn over star’s future after Leeds, Aston Villa make enquiries