By Saikat Mandal

5th Aug, 2022 | 8:10am

Chris Sutton makes West Ham United top-four prediction ahead of new season

Chris Sutton has predicted that West Ham will struggle to make it to the top four for the upcoming season.

The BT Sports pundit has suggested that Declan Rice, the new club skipper, staying at the club is a “big deal” for the club, but this could be his last season at the London Stadium.

Sutton also suggests that losing Nayef Aguerd is a “blow” for the club. He picked up an injury in the pre-season and will miss the opening few games.

“It’s a shame for Moyes that £30m centre back Nayef Aguerd picked up an injury in pre-season which means he will miss the start of the season,” wrote Sutton in his column for The Daily Mail (4 August).

“That’s a blow, especially as they face the formidable Manchester City first up at home. 

“West Ham have exceeded expectations in the last two seasons and I’m sure a few supporters are eyeing a top-four push.

“I think that’s out of reach but Declan Rice staying is a big deal for the club — he’s now wearing the captain’s armband full-time and will set the standard.

“This could prove his last season at the London Stadium but the new club captain remains the foundation of David Moyes’ side. A fine all-round midfielder.”

Prove him wrong

West Ham have come a long way under David Moyes and there is a genuine belief that they can get into the top four this season. 

It won’t be easy though with the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United will be fighting for that spot. 

However, the signings made by Moyes this summer gives more optimism. 

They have finally landed a quality striker, while have bolstered the midfield and defensive areas. 

Despite losing Aguerd, West Ham still have got enough depth to cope with his loss. However, once he returns, the squad will get even better. 

Sutton is absolutely spot on about Rice. The Hammers didn’t want to sell the England midfielder this summer despite the fact he has refused to sign a new contract. 

However, if West Ham secure a top-four spot this summer, Rice could be tempted to sign a new deal. He will have already noticed that the club is showing ambition in the market, and he would probably love to steer the project forward.