WHO Poll
Q: 2021/22 What competition should we prioritise this season?
a. The league is our bread & butter, so this year let's have a club sandwich
27%
  
b. We're owed an FA Cup after Gerrard nicked our last one in 06, our name's on it in 22
10%
  
c. A bye to the League Cup 3rd round gives us a good start, let's make it count
6%
  
d. The Europa is our best ticket to the Champions League, this is the one
36%
  
e. What's wrong with you, let's do the lot, has the quadruple ever been done
21%
  



Irish Hammer 12:12 Fri Jul 2
Another Declan Article - On the transfer situation.
Not a bad read in fairness :

Declan Rice, Chelsea, Man City and why West Ham are under little pressure to sell (just yet)


Mason Mount may have provided the assist for Kai Havertz’s solitary goal in the Champions League final but arguably his biggest contribution to the Chelsea cause took place in the changing room.

The Chelsea playmaker FaceTimed Declan Rice to remind his childhood friend of the rewards that come with playing for a leading European club. Six days before, he had helped West Ham United clinch Europa League qualification, but amid the euphoria of seeing Mount showing off his winner’s medal, Rice knew deep down that he yearned for moments like that.

So it should come as no surprise the 22-year-old midfielder has rejected two contract offers from West Ham. The east London club have made huge strides under manager David Moyes, but their failure to secure a top-four finish has added to Rice’s determination to challenge himself at one who can. The England international is a sought-after talent, with Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City credited with an interest.

Rice’s current contract will expire in 2024, although the club have a one-year option, but there was a moment during last season when City were favourites to secure Rice’s signature. The assumption was they would test West Ham’s resolve but City decided to offer veteran midfielder Fernandinho a one-year deal, with signing a forward their priority this summer.

The word at the top of West Ham is that Rice is not available, at any price. Not in this transfer window, anyway. The player remains appreciative for the club giving him an opportunity after he was released by Chelsea aged 14 and has no plans to submit a transfer request in order to force through a move. West Ham are keen to build a squad around Rice and believe they hold all the cards when it comes to his future, due to the number of years still to run on his deal.

Following Rice’s impressive performance in England’s 2-0 win over Germany on Tuesday, many are starting to realise that Moyes valuing him as a £100 million player was not hyperbole. Moyes’ predecessor Slaven Bilic told The Athletic that Rice should be in no rush to join a big club and many West Ham supporters will echo those sentiments. You arguably have to go back to Carlos Tevez’s departure to Manchester United in 2007, at age 23, for the last time the club lost a young player in his prime who had made a big contribution to their cause.

There are plausible arguments that Rice should want to stay with a club who are belatedly getting their recruitment right; the midfielder is excelling under Moyes, forming arguably the best midfield partnership in the league alongside Tomas Soucek and once long-time captain Mark Noble retires, it will effectively be Rice’s team. What has enabled Rice’s ascent to being widely considered an elite midfielder is that he plays week in, week out. Although he is talented, if he were to join a club such as Chelsea, it would not be outlandish to say he would be viewed as a small fish in a big pond.

Furthermore, why should Rice even harbour aspirations of joining a club who not so long ago thought he wasn’t good enough? It’s been widely documented the midfielder cried when his father, Sean, informed him of Chelsea’s decision to let him go. Since then, Rice has improved massively and made his childhood club cry £100 million worth of tears.

But the most important question to ask is do Chelsea even need Rice? The new European champions’ midfield options are N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, Billy Gilmour and Mateo Kovacic, while they also have high hopes for academy player Lewis Bate. Jorginho’s £57 million arrival from Napoli in 2018 is the most Chelsea have spent on a holding midfielder. And it is worth remembering that when then-Chelsea manager Frank Lampard tried to sign Rice, it annoyed his Stamford Bridge bosses.

The Athletic were told in December: “He (Lampard) needs to stop pushing for Rice or he’ll lose his job. The hierarchy are very wary about the potential embarrassment of buying back an academy reject at huge expense.”

For it to be considered an embarrassment does not bode well for Rice’s future standing if he were to join Chelsea.

It is not the first time they have tried to augment their squad with one of West Ham’s best players, of course. Glen Johnson was 18 and had only played 15 league games when he joined them in 2003, Lampard was 22 when he was sold to Chelsea in 2001 and Joe Cole made the switch to west London in 2003 when he was 21. They left the claret and blue for a combined fee of £23 million.

Yes, Chelsea can offer Champions League football. Yes, Rice would be playing for the club he supports and yes, he may argue he has unfinished business at Stamford Bridge. But look at the careers of Scott Parker, Danny Drinkwater and Tiemoue Bakayoko and how their move to Chelsea is one they would later regret. That trio were first-team regulars at Charlton Athletic, Leicester City and Monaco respectively, but were stuck with restricted game time in the blue half of London.

Parker went from being a PFA Young Player of the Year winner to struggling to even get in Chelsea’s match-day squads, although in fairness a foot injury hampered his progress. Bakayoko and Drinkwater have endured three loan spells each since joining Chelsea for a combined fee of £75 million in 2017. In the last four seasons, Drinkwater has played just 28 league games — one less than he managed in his final campaign at Leicester.

Rice is good enough to play for a host of clubs but playing for sides who challenge for major titles brings different expectations. However rarely it actually occurs, Rice can afford to have a bad game at West Ham but, similarly to what he experienced in England’s group stage games against Croatia and Scotland and Czech Republic, an average performance leads to intense scrutiny. This is something he has not had to deal with often at West Ham.

His reluctance to sign another deal could also be due to the predicaments Harry Kane and Wilfried Zaha currently find themselves in. Kane is keen to leave Tottenham Hotspur for a club that can challenge for titles but has three years left on his contract. Zaha, who turns 29 in November, has aspirations of playing for a side nearer the higher reaches of the league but following failed moves to Arsenal and Everton no club has been willing to match Crystal Palace’s £80 million valuation.

“It has always been our intention to keep our best players — particularly those who have come through our academy — at West Ham United and build our club for the future,” said David Sullivan when Rice signed a long-term deal in December 2018.

That commitment remains.

If Rice’s rise continues at Euro 2020, the club can expect to have their resolve tested but for now they retain a certain degree of control.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

charleyfarley 1:33 Sat Jul 3
Re: Another Declan Article - On the transfer situation.
Thanks Irish keep em coming vey enjoyable

chim chim cha boo 8:58 Sat Jul 3
Re: Another Declan Article - On the transfer situation.
Cheers Irish x

Mex Martillo 8:49 Sat Jul 3
Re: Another Declan Article - On the transfer situation.
Thanks Irish

Mex Martillo 8:49 Sat Jul 3
Re: Another Declan Article - On the transfer situation.
Yes, interesting all the same.
I think Rice will stay with us for now. At this time it is good for him to play every week and he gets that with us.
I guess the dream will be that he can win things with us and in that unlikely situation we might keep him for a long time...

bill green 12:19 Fri Jul 2
Re: Another Declan Article - On the transfer situation.
Takashi Miike 12:16 Fri Jul 2

Northern Sold 12:17 Fri Jul 2
Re: Another Declan Article - On the transfer situation.
Just started convo on TS

Takashi Miike 12:16 Fri Jul 2
Re: Another Declan Article - On the transfer situation.
more speculative bollocks





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