West Ham manager David Moyes has lavished praise on midfielder Declan Rice but he has also paved the way for the 21-year-old’s departure from the London Stadium.
Speaking about the England international’s importance to the team, the Hammers boss said the player has the potential to take on Mark Noble’s mantle after the Irons captain retires but he also hinted that Rice’s sale could finance his summer transfer spending:
“Declan is carrying a lot of the team at the moment and he’s the one who will carry on from Mark Noble when it comes to an end for him. Quite often when building a club you have to sell.”
“I hope it’s not the case with Declan but I said the same with Wayne Rooney and Joleon Lescott [at Everton]. But the team got better because we were able to sign the right players to replace them. If that ever came around [Rice leaving] I’d hope we’d be able to do the same here as well.”
Supporters on Twitter are not happy with Moyes’ latest comments:
That’s the nail in the coffin of rice career at westham. Basically he’s off and Moyes is softening the blow
— ⚒Grimmer⚒ (@grimmer1895) 8 February 2020
Rice isn’t even that good. He’s talking him up for more cash. Bog average player
— Steve Dow (@SteveDow1) 9 February 2020
Moyes keeping it real & building his back room team ready for ”if” we go down the board have taken us to the next level alright
— Peter Deasy (@PeterDeasy1) 8 February 2020
The sooner moyes goes and we keep rice the better
Gold will give moyes a job managing his garden open days not sure how well that will work out either
— Micky Finn (@mickydfinn) 8 February 2020
Already preparing the fan base for the championship, why talk of this when they need to be positive? The subject should not be broached until the end of the season.
— airbag (@airbag93986541) 9 February 2020
That’s quite the suicide note .
In short we are going down and Declan is off
— Martin G.Andrews (@martingandrews) 9 February 2020
Wished him all the best months ago 😔😣
— pokermush (@pokermush) 8 February 2020
Moyes has sent our 1 scout to look for the next 8 Jordan Hugill’s.
— Giesen (@Giesen12) 8 February 2020
Declan owes us nothing and we owe Declan nothing… he tried his heart out and is a victim of the current regime the same as us. This speaks loud and tells us all we need to know… it confirms it. Lack of vision/stucture etc. Imo the board has 1 agenda as business men.
— nevo (@crumplednev) 8 February 2020
The worst part for me is the quote “I’d hope we’d be able to do the same”. And that’s the issue, even the manager isn’t sure he’ll get the funds from the transfer to invest back into the squad, because those clown will not hand over the profits from his sale. #GSBOUT
— Irondrew12 (@irondrew12) 8 February 2020
Although Moyes is being honest about the situation, being realistic if a massive offer comes in from the likes of Manchester United or Chelsea, he is also effectively making it clear that there won’t be any way to rebuild the squad in the summer unless Rice departs.
That is a damning indictment of the current state of affairs, and fans will be hoping that the midfielder both helps to keep West Ham up, and stays on at the London club for the long term.