Former Arsenal star and football pundit Paul Merson has urged Declan Rice to leave West Ham United this summer.
Declan Rice’s stock has grown exponentially in the last couple of seasons, and it finally seems that he could be on his way out of West Ham. The England international has had a solid 2021/22 season and is reportedly being monitored by the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United, who have been linked with him in the past as well.
Rice was especially impressive in West Ham’s Europa League Round of 16 2-0 win over Sevilla on Thursday night, utterly dominating the Spanish side to no ends. The midfielder’s scintillating performance against the La Liga team left Arsenal legend Paul Merson highly impressed, who urged Rice to move on from the London-based club.
“Declan Rice should strike while the iron’s hot and leave West Ham this summer. He’s taken his game to another level this season and is playing like N’Golo Kante now, affecting things at both ends of the pitch. I’d be surprised if Declan Rice is playing for West Ham next season. They have completely punched above their weight for months.
“Where could he go? Depends what happens at Chelsea and who buys the club. Manchester United would be a good move, but will they get in the Champions League? That’s where Rice wants to play. They play Tottenham this weekend and playing Spurs should always be a big game for West Ham but the Europa League game against Sevilla was a bigger one,” Merson wrote in his column for the Daily Star.
Declan Rice’s game by numbers vs. Sevilla:
90% pass accuracy
12 final third entries
9x possession won
7 duels won
4 take-ons attempted
3 take-one completed
1 chances created
— Squawka (@Squawka) March 17, 2022
The central midfielder, who is a West Ham youth product, has been a driving force in their consistent Premier League performances under David Moyes. The Hammers have been pushing for a Champions League berth over the last couple of seasons, and Rice has played a huge role in it.
But with heavyweights in Chelsea and Manchester United registering serious interest in the 23-year-old, the Hammers could be forced to sell him in the summer. After the current season, Rice will have two years remaining on his West Ham contract.
It remains to be seen whether the midfielder stays put at the east London outfit or joins one of the big guns, should any of them come calling in the summer.