West Ham United

West Ham United

Premier League • England

West Ham told what they need to do to keep hold of in-form ace

James Holland
Declan Rice West Ham

A former England international has told West Ham how they can keep a top player from the clutches of Manchester United and Chelsea.

David Moyes has seen his stock rise tremendously over the past couple of years thanks to his great work at the London Stadium. He guided the Irons back into Europe with an impressive sixth-placed finish in 2020-21.

West Ham have continued their great form this season. They have won five games from a possible nine in the Premier League, with their most recent outing being a 1-0 victory over Tottenham.

They are top of their Europa League group with a 100 per cent winning record, too.

Moyes’ transfer recruitment has received praise from fans and pundits alike. Czech duo Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal are regular performers. Said Benrahma joined from Brentford for £30m and is now starting to pay that money back.

Defensive midfielder Declan Rice is currently one of their most in-form players. He put in a solid display against Spurs as the Hammers kept another clean sheet.

He is captaining the team domestically and in Europe, despite being just 22 years old.

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There are rumours that United and Chelsea are eyeing the England international. Any deal would cost them in excess of £100m.

West Ham want to end those links by tying Rice down to a bumper new deal. Pundit Paul Robinson has now reacted to the negotiations and told the club what they must do to keep him.

During an interview with Football Insider, the former shot-stopper said: “Declan Rice’s future will be dependent on West Ham’s season.

“We know they got into the top six last season. Can they do it consistently over [another] season now and get into the Champions League?

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“We are yet to see if West Ham can match his ambitions and the level that he wants to be at. If they are in the Champions League at the end of the season, he may well sign a new contract.

“But unless they are in those top-four spots at the end of the year, I can’t see him staying.”

Rice’s current deal expires in 2024 and is worth around £156,000 per week.

Moyes reacts to London derby win

Moyes emphasised the importance of set pieces after West Ham beat Tottenham on Sunday.

An Aaron Cresswell corner found Michail Antonio, who stuck out a leg to shin the ball past Hugo Lloris. His goal proved to be winner against a lacklustre Spurs team.

Moyes said at his post-match press conference: “To have a really good deliverer of the ball [Cresswell] is important and to have aggressive players attacking it helps. I hope he [Antonio] does score 15 goals because we need the forward boys to come up with goals. We rely on Michail a lot but we have Pablo [Fornals], Said [Benrahma], Jarrod [Bowen] and Niko Vlasic to come up with goals as well.”

On the wider team performance, Moyes added: “We showed patience and in the end, the resilience and character of the players and how they have performed over the last year and a half has shone through today. Lots of good performances so great credit to the players for how they continue to grow.”

The Hammers’ next game is against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup. Four days later they travel to Aston Villa in the league.

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