Stuart Peace glad West Ham United star Declan Rice is in shop window, shares when he will leave live on talkSPORT
Declan Rice being in the shop window all the time in Qatar is a “good thing” according to former West Ham coach Stuart Pearce.
The Hammers captain spoke about his ambitions to play in the Champions League and win trophies again while on international duty with England at the World Cup on Thursday (1 December), ahead of the round of 16 meeting with Senegal.
But Pearce is certain the 23-year-old won’t be leaving before next summer, and is glad that the midfielder will be attracting attention if the Three Lions do well.
Speaking live on talkSPORT on Friday morning (2 December) the ex-Hammers coach said: “He owes West Ham absolutely nothing. He’s been brilliant. He’s driven them to two European campaigns.
“I don’t think he’ll be moving anytime soon, not before next summer. That certainly won’t be the case.
“If England go a long way in this tournament he’s putting himself in the shop window all the time, which is a good a thing.
“You want your players to court attention from elsewhere. He’s an outstanding player.
“What player would turn round and say, ‘My ambition is not to play in the Champions League’?
“But I’d love to see him drive West Ham into Champions League football. He’s got the world at his feet and I hope he keeps improving.”
Writing on the wall
It looks like the final chance to keep Rice at the club was to push on from the successes of last season and give him a genuine opportunity at silverware this year.
The start to the campaign as been so inconsistent that that ship appears to have sailed, so the same speculation over his future that dominated most of the previous one will continue now in earnest.
Clearly his experiences with the national team heighten things for him, as everybody with his sort of status in that team with the exception of possibly Jordan Pickford can play in the Champions League on a fairly regular basis, now that former midfield partner Kalvin Phillips has moved to Manchester City.
For West Ham fans who don’t want to see him leave there is no way to dress up the increased attention he will be getting in Qatar as a good thing.
But for those who accept that it is an increasingly inevitable reality, as Pearce seems to, will at least see that the better he performs on the world stage the more the Irons can charge to sell him.
The former England and West Ham full-back, much like Jamie Carragher prior to the start of the competition, also seem to be seeing things from the player’s point of view, which as former professionals themselves without life-long loyalties to east London is perhaps no surprise.
His form with the Hammers this year hasn’t been especially conducive to getting £150million out of anyone, but a central role as the Three Lions go deep into the tournament might.