By Peter Lynch

24th May, 2023 | 5:40pm

West Ham United must sign James Ward-Prowse, Southampton ace boasts more impressive stats than Declan Rice

West Ham will find it impossible to exactly replace Declan Rice this summer, if indeed the Hammers captain does leave the club at the end of the season.

His exit from the London Stadium has been likely for quite some time, and it seems that he could bring the curtain down on his West Ham career in perfect fashion by lifting the Europa Conference League trophy.

The East London outfit will receive a huge fee for his services, in what is the only real positive that they can take from the situation.

That money can be used to find something as close to Rice as is humanly possible, and that may be in the form of Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse.

According to the Evening Standard, the Hammers are already preparing a bid for the midfield star. And it’s clear to see why they are reportedly showing an interest, with his statistics for the season hugely impressive.

“Ward-Prowse has scored eight goals in the Premier League this season and ranks among the top four players in the division for chances created, interceptions and crosses attempted – despite his side sitting rock bottom in the table,” according to Sky Sports.

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“He has also run farther than any other player in the league, covering 423km – edging the player he could replace, Declan Rice. That distance equates to running 10 marathons!”

Such stats are made even more impressive given how Southampton were destined for relegation for quite some time, with Ward-Prowse still managing to outshine several players despite his club’s struggles.

As the Saints plummeted towards rock-bottom of the table, the midfielder was still out there on the pitch doing his thing, but sadly wasn’t joined by his teammates in that effort.

In the end, his solo efforts unsurprisingly were not enough, but the one silver lining is that he has done more than enough to earn a place at a top club in the Premier League.

The same can be said for Rice, only it seems that the Hammers ace will be playing for a club competing in the Champions League.