By West Ham Zone speaking to Frank McAvennie

2nd Sep, 2022 | 12:10pm

Pundit warns Declan Rice that he could be dropped at West Ham United after Lucas Paqueta arrival

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

David Moyes could drop Declan Rice if he doesn’t improve his performances after West Ham signed Lucas Paqueta, according to Frank McAvennie.

The Hammers started the season slowly but picked up their first points with a win over Aston Villa before a midweek draw with Spurs, seeing their form take an upwards turn.

But Rice has struggled for form so far this season and after the club spent a club record £51m on Brazil international Paqueta during the summer window, he is at risk of being dropped with McAvennie believing that there is “something not right” with the England international.

“He’ll be pushing Declan [Rice] and [Tomas] Soucek I’d imagine,” he told West Ham Zone.

“The point is with Declan, Declan is a wonderful talent but he’s not kicked a ball. He’s our talisman in there now and he’s not taken over from Noble with the captaincy in terms of getting the team galvanised that’s for sure.

“He’s his own man, but he’s only a boy. He’ll be looking at his own game rather than the team, so there’s something not right in there. He’s not played well, for a boy of his young age. I don’t know what it is, because it’s a shame to see Declan. He’s up there and right now, he’s only down there. He’s not reached any heights at the moment so I’m looking for Declan to step up.

“And if he does it the people round about him will too, that’s what a captain does.

“So someone coming into midfield and pushing Soucek might be just the thing that we need. We talk about it every week but when there’s competition for places it’s incredible how much a player steps up to the mark. Even in training.

“If Declan Rice doesn’t step up to the mark I don’t think David Moyes would have any problems leaving him out. Knowing David the way I do, I wouldn’t think. If you’re not playing well you’re out. I know he’s the captain but you don’t have to [keep playing him].

“Ten Hag did it with Maguire and look what happened with them, they were brilliant. So yeah, I don’t think David will have that problem but I don’t want to see it. I don’t want him getting dropped because he’s a good player, really good player.

“Maybe David can give him a rest and see what’s going wrong, because as I say he’s barely kicked a ball yet. He’s a wonderful talent, so hopefully it’s just the start of the season and he’s still getting over his holiday or something.”