By West Ham Zone speaking to Frank McAvennie

1st Jun, 2023 | 4:10pm

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

Frank McAvennie has named Lucas Paqueta as the man who should replace Declan Rice as the new West Ham captain should he leave this summer.

Rice is expected to leave the club with Arsenal and Bayern Munich seen as the frontrunners in the race for his signature, with West Ham looking to earn at least £100m from his sale.

But should he leave the club then a new captain will need to be appointed for the second summer in a row, and McAvennie believes there is only one standout candidate for the role.

“Currently I don’t know,” he told West Ham Zone.

“I’d give it to Paqueta. I don’t know what his English is like, that’s the only thing, but he leads by example.

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“The last few games he’s been outstanding and he’s been playing like a Brazilian. A hard-working Brazilian, chasing things.

“I’d go for him. Benrahma, no. Antonio, I don’t know. Maybe Antonio?”

The Brazilian came to the club with a huge reputation after a club-record transfer and took a while to settle in to the league and the way David Moyes wanted to play.

But towards the end of the campaign he turned in some phenomenal performances and really led by example to help the club avoid relegation and reach the Europa Conference League final.