West Ham boss David Moyes insists that Declan Rice is a vital part of his side despite interest from Chelsea.
Rice has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge as part of their summer spending spree.
The 21-year-old is one of the Hammers’ star players and is viewed as a potential Chelsea legend.
Manager Frank Lampard is thought to be an admirer of the player and wants him to provide balance to his midfield.
However, Moyes is determined to keep Rice at West Ham for the future.
Speaking to The Times (via Daily Star), he said: “The big challenge is to get that mentality throughout the team — but Declan Rice was one who carried it. We see Declan in the Mark Noble mould.
“I want a team with a younger profile.”
It looks like Moyes is intent on keeping Rice ahead of the new Premier League season, and even sees him as a future captain.
Rice will play a vital role if West Ham are to improve on their 16th place finish during the 2019/20 campaign.
The Hammers looked like relegation favourites before a strong run-in helped them to avoid the drop.
They beat Chelsea, Norwich and Watford, as well as drawing with Man Utd and Aston Villa, to remain in the top flight.
Moyes is busy preparing his side for their first fixture against Newcastle on 12th September.
Rice has been selected throughout their pre-season fixtures, which reinforces Moyes’ comments about keeping the player.
However, West Ham fans have become disillusioned with the club’s bosses in recent days after Grady Diangana joined West Brom for £18 million.
Even club captain Mark Noble was disappointed with the transfer. Speaking on Twitter, he said: “As captain of this football club I’m gutted, angry and sad that Grady has left, great kid with a great future!”
We can only imagine how Noble would react if Rice was allowed to leave for Chelsea.