West Ham United look set to lose Declan Rice this summer but who could replace the midfielder at the London Stadium?
Rice has been a mainstay in West Ham’s midfield over the last few seasons which has seen them get to the Europa League semi-final and now the Europa Conference League final. However, as the player has just one year left on his contract it could be the right time for the Hammers to cash in on him.
Manchester City, Arsenal, Newcastle and Bayern Munich are all interested in Rice. All of which can offer Champions League soccer and the opportunity to win trophies.
The England international could play his last Premier League game for West Ham this weekend. Although, fans can still look forward to playing once more in the final of the Europa Conference League. What a send-off that would be if they win their first major tournament since 1980 in Rice’s last game.
It will be very difficult for any player to match what Rice has done for the club but here are three possible replacements for Rice.
Declan Rice replacements for West Ham: 1. James Ward-Prowse
James Ward-Prowse will be playing in the Championship next season if he does not leave already relegated Southampton. Ward-Prowse missed out on going to the World Cup in Qatar last year but could still get a chance to go to the European Championships in Germany next year if he plays top-flight football.
The midfielder is a deal ball specialist and The Daily Mail has reported that “Saints insiders say they want to keep Ward-Prowse, who is admired by Aston Villa, West Ham and Tottenham.”
Ward-Prowse has played his entire career with Southampton in the Premier League. He has made 342 appearances in the competition and at 28 would not want to drop down a level. However, leaving Southampton would mean that he would no longer be a one-club player.
2. Yunus Musah
Yunus Musah has been fighting a relegation battle with Valencia all season. The USMNT midfielder needs to start playing at a higher level. Although West Ham has only just avoided the drop this season, they do have a chance at playing in the Europa League next season, if they beat Fiorentina in the final of the Europa Conference League.
The Daily Mail has revealed that “West Ham are keeping an eye on USA midfielder and former Arsenal trainee, Yunus Musah.” The USMNT player was part of the Gunners’ academy so he could return to London if he joins the Hammers.
3. Flynn Downes
Flynn Downes has played second fiddle to Declan Rice this season but he has still managed 20 appearances in the Premier League. Downes did not come through West Ham’s academy but his route to playing for his boyhood club came after spells at Ipswich Town, Luton Town and Swansea City.
He is a Hammers fan who the supporters at the London Stadium can relate to. The midfielder has performed well when called upon this season and could be the man to replace Rice in midfield.