Thursday night and Declan Rice scored West Ham’s third goal, sealing the win against Gent. The East London side qualified in a European competition semi-final for the second season in a row and they are ready to face Alkmaar. Rice was the captain the team needed on a joyful night for the Hammers. But what does the future hold for this young star?
His contract with West Ham is due to the summer of 2024, meaning that his value in the transfer market has already dropped – from 120 million pounds to almost 70-75 million pounds. Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United are always linked with a possible move, but the Gunners are the huge favourites. Arteta’s side lacks depth in the midfield, as there are no countable options between Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka. Elneny and Sambi Lokonga are not the options someone would prefer to have. Rice is keen on moving to Emirates, while the team will return to Champions League football. If Arsenal manages to survive in the title fight and win the Premier League, some would say that Rice to them is a done deal.
But the 24-year-old midfielder has a couple of goals before leaving his favourite Hammers. West Ham is struggling this season in the Premier League, with the relegation danger being alive as of now. Last week’s draw against Arsenal (West Ham was two goals down before equalising) thrilled the fans who see their favourite club fight with pride. The team is four points above the relegation zone and needs just a couple of convincing performances before securing its participation in the next season’s campaign. The Gunner’s odds improved at 7/5.
The second major goal is the chance to win a European trophy. There is no doubt that Moyes’ side has the best quality among the other remaining candidates (Fiorentina and Basel complete the set), so reaching the very end is not something that can’t happen. Rice could be the player who lifts the trophy first, a memory that both sides love to have before he starts his journey to a top-6 team.
Regarding the other potential candidates, Chelsea’s odds are at 7/1. The Blues have long been linked with Rice due to his spell at them as a youngster and they appreciate the player. Man United and Man City’s odds are at 8/1. The Manchester rivals keep monitoring the situation but are far behind in reaching an agreement with West Ham and the players. The bookmakers though assure us that remaining at West Ham is the best possible scenario counted at 1/2.
John Sampson is a sports writer and tipster who is passionate about football. He studied Political Sciences but his true love has always been sports, specifically football.
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