Declan Rice: David Moyes wants West Ham to build around England midfielder

Declan Rice celebrates
Declan Rice has a career-best tally of three goals this season, before the turn of the year

West Ham manager David Moyes says he wants to build his team around England midfielder Declan Rice.

Rice, 22, plays his 150th Premier League game for the Hammers when they visit Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day.

This season Rice has built on his Euro 2020 performances, attracting England’s leading clubs, but his contract runs to 2024, with the option of another year.

“Declan’s under a long contract so from that point of view we’ve not got a big panic on,” said Moyes.

“We’ve no intention of selling him and I’ve said already many, many times, if we ever had to, it would be a shoot to the moon.

“My job is to keep building the club and the level up. We need players around Declan who are at a similar level. He has been a revelation for us this season and hopefully he keeps driving the team on.”

West Ham are in a strong position to retain the services of a player who will take over the club captaincy when Mark Noble retires at the end of the season.

Moyes rates Rice as one of the top players in the Premier League at recovering the ball, thanks to his natural speed. The Hammers’ boss is also delighted that Rice has become a more consistent goal threat as he has already gone past his best seasonal total by notching three times this term with half the campaign remaining.

Evidently, though, there are improvements still to be made.

“If you break Declan down, you might look at really tidy players and say ‘I want you to become even better in your passing’,” said Moyes.

“So you can look at Frenkie de Jong or Jorginho, but Declan is a bit of an all-rounder, and there’s not many better.”

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