By West Ham Zone speaking to Frank McAvennie

9th Mar, 2023 | 12:10pm

We’re delighted to welcome former West Ham United striker Frank McAvennie as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the London Stadium

Declan Rice must do more for West Ham this season to help the team avoid relegation and earn his transfer away for the summer, says Frank McAvennie.

The Hammers sit one point above the relegation zone with 13 games remaining, and Rice is expected to leave the club in the summer with Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool all strongly interested in doing a deal.

But McAvennie believes that his form this season hasn’t been nearly good enough, and he must do more to earn his transfer and help the team avoid relegation this season by helping those around him play better.

“We’ve all been saying how good he is, but he’s not kicked a ball for six weeks,” he told West Ham Zone.

“Against Forest he was different class. That’s the kind of player he is. He dictated the game, controlled the game, and all of a sudden the other players around him played well.

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“That’s what Declan has got to do as well. If he’s going to leave, he’s got to stand up and play that way every week.

“He has to play that way because it shows how much freedom everyone else around him gets.

Rice is set to feature for the Hammers when they face Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon (12 March) and is expected to be in the England squad for their upcoming internationals against Italy and Ukraine.

The 24-year-old will have two years remaining on his contract at the club (including a one-year option) but is expected to leave for Champions League football.

The Hammers are adamant he will cost a British record fee, while buying clubs are confident they should be able to do a deal for around £80m.