Former West Ham and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes keeping hold of both Declan Rice and Issa Diop this summer were the club’s best pieces of transfer business.
Diop was a transfer target for Manchester United and Arsenal before they signed other centre-backs. Rice has also been linked with Manchester United and Manchester City, and Ferdinand believes the Hammers board should be given credit for holding on to the pair:
“The fans have been up in arms over the last couple of years with the owners but they have put their money where their mouth is. And the biggest thing they have achieved this year is keeping hold of Declan Rice and Issa Diop.”
Ferdinand used the example of himself and Frank Lampard to show how the Hammers have weakened their squad in the past by selling their best young players:
“Me, Frank [Lampard], Jermain Defoe, Glen Johnson … once there was a little bit of form or interest players just left this club before. Hopefully, this is the sign of the strength at the club now.”
There certainly seems to have been a change of mentality when it comes to sales. Time will tell whether the hierarchy will keep to the same policy, but there’s no doubt that finances from the new stadium and the TV deal have allowed West Ham to knock back sizeable offers for their key stars.