By George Overhill

11th Feb, 2022 | 12:10pm

Trevor Sinclair expects Declan Rice to be England captain, doesn't need to leave West Ham for it

Declan Rice can stay at West Ham and still succeed in becoming England captain in the future, according to Trevor Sinclair.

Since standing in for Mark Noble as Hammers skipper the midfielder has proven he has what it takes to be a leader, while his performances have lead to clubs circling in the hopes of a transfer.

The former Irons winger believes that it is not compulsory for the 23-year-old to move to a trophy-winning side to achieve his international ambition, making the valid argument that the current wearer of the armband has gone empty handed, but does fear he will move.

On talkSPORT Breakfast on Friday (February 11, 08.30am) Alan Brazil thought he would be a national team captain, asking: “I think it’s just a case of when don’t you?”

Sinclair answered: “Yeah I do. I love him as a player, I think he leaves it all out there, he’s energetic, has enthusiasm.

“The performance is there. He’s got the leadership qualities. He’s had a great teacher in Mark Noble. You look at his performances in the Euros, I think he was top drawer… He conducts himself off the pitch really well.

“Ordinarily you would like your skipper to be at a club that’s winning silverware, but Harry Kane’s been there the last five, six years… so he doesn’t need to leave West Ham.”

He does admit that personal ambition will push him to outgrow the vision of his current club however, saying: “I think silverware and European football… he’s got in his sights.

“I can’t see him staying after the end of this season. I know West Ham fans don’t want to hear that.”

Gives and takes away

The fans at the London Stadium certainly do not want to hear that.

Their ex-player seems to have backed up recent reports suggesting the lack of January transfer activity has pushed Rice closer to the exit (Telegraph).

And with the man himself having told Gary Neville on The Overlap that he wants to win trophies, if the prospect of that happening in East London has moved further away then the writing may be on the wall.

And while it probably is true that the former Chelsea youth player could get the England captaincy while remaining at West Ham, the Kane comparison only goes so far.

The Tottenham striker is known to want to leave his current club for the very same reason, and saw a protracted transfer saga drag out through the summer before a move to Manchester City collapsed.

It also probably rests on how long Gareth Southgate stays in charge of the Three Lions, as he has now established a policy of relying on players who have done well for him despite not being at top clubs.

But Jack Grealish’s sudden inclusion after his £100million move to the league leaders suggests that the blindness to those outside the ‘Big Six’ still occurs.

In other West Ham news, our expert has previewed Sunday’s game for West Ham Women against Leicester.