By Daniel Feliciano

27th Dec, 2022 | 7:40am

Eni Aluko blasts West Ham United star Declan Rice for being so open about wanting to leave

Declan Rice has been blasted by Eni Aluko for “becoming a bit of a distraction” amid being open about wanting to leave West Ham.

The Hammers skipper has openly admitted that he wants to play Champions League football and win trophies, as Chelsea and Liverpool circle for a blockbuster summer deal to take him away from the London Stadium.

But speaking on Amazon Prime ahead of the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal on Boxing Day (26 Dec, 19:27), Aluko admitted she was “surprised” by him being so open and believes it could be a reason behind the team’s poor form this season.

“I wonder if that’s actually becoming a bit of a distraction,” she said.

“I’m a little bit surprised at how open Declan Rice has been about wanting to go, to leave. I think West Ham fans will understand. Declan Rice deserves to be playing in the Champions League.

“This is a guy who is the first name on the England team sheet, has been absolutely brilliant for West Ham, great servant, youngest captain in the Premier League, but I just wonder as a captain, whether you should be talking so openly about wanting to move on.

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“I wonder if that’s distracting for the team. He’s got a big job on his hands here. One point off the relegation zone, and this time last season they were fourth.

“So he’s got to focus on West Ham and bring the best out of some of these players around him in this team.”


It seems very harsh to try and put the blame of our poor form this season on Rice, even if he has been speaking a bit too loudly about an exit.

His comments during the World Cup probably weren’t necessary, but the team were already playing badly before that and weren’t even that awful against Arsenal, they just weren’t as good.

Whether Rice came out and spoke about his future or not it wouldn’t prevent the speculation and headlines being written, and anyone with a brain knows that he wants to play at a higher level and that the big boys are circling.

The fact he is so open about it should motivate the players around him to want to get him to that level in a claret and blue shirt, a bit like Argentina were motivated to win Lionel Messi the World Cup.

If it is becoming a distraction then it’s the fault of the players for not focusing on their jobs, not Rice’s for answering questions we already knew the answer to.