By Ben Brown

29th Apr, 2022 | 7:10pm

Declan Rice must stay at West Ham even if they don't win Europa League says Ray Parlour

Ray Parlour has told West Ham midfielder Declan Rice he should stay with the club regardless of what happens in their Europa League campaign.

West Ham lost the first leg of their semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 at the London Stadium with the reverse fixture taking place in Germany next week.

Rice has had plenty of interest from other clubs given his stellar performances for club and country but Parlour thinks the 23-year-old is best served staying with the Hammers for now.

“He’s got to stay, he might stay even if they get knocked out, if they win it…he’s going to be the skipper of West Ham next year in the Champions League,” he told talkSPORT (29 April).

“I really hope he stays because he’s still learning and he’s the skipper of the team.”

“It sounds like his first choice will be Chelsea now but with their problems at the moment… maybe Manchester City will try and jump in.”

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“Whatever happens in his future either West Ham will get paid a lot of money if he does leave or if he does commit for another year it’s fantastic for the fans.”

Key Man

It was a disappointing night for the Irons on Thursday and the wider ramifications could yet have a huge impact on the future of the club.

Rice is clearly an absolutely vital cog in David Moyes’ machine and keeping him happy is crucial in keeping the good times rolling at the London Stadium.

A Europa League success would certainly go a long way towards achieving that but even without that the club remain in a strong position with the England international under contract until 2024.

You can’t help but feel though that Rice is unlikely to sign a new deal if the Hammers can’t break into Europe’s elite, which could provide a huge conundrum for the club if they don’t want to lose a high-class talent for an undercut fee.

In more ways than one, the second leg against Frankfurt is a pivotal game for the future of West Ham United.

In other West Ham news, two former Irons were gushing over this player’s key role in the Europa League run.

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