The versatile 21-year-old has seen a move to Stamford Bridge mooted, but one of his current coaches expects loyalty to be shown in east London
Declan Rice will ignore the interest being shown in him from Chelsea and go on to spend “a number of years” at West Ham, says Hammers coach Stuart Pearce.
Another window that saw a versatile 21-year-old generate plenty of speculation has just swung shut.
A move across London for Rice was mooted, with Chelsea keen on putting a reunion in place for a player who once spent time in their academy system.
No deal was done, as Frank Lampard landed a number of other players, and a highly rated England international remains in the East End.
Pearce believes that will remain the case for the foreseeable future, with the former West Ham defender – who is now part of Davod Moyes’ backroom team – backing Rice to stay put.
He told The Sun: “I played my football where I enjoyed playing football and turned money down to stay where I was happy.
“My biggest driver was probably playing for the national team. I get the same impression now with Dec — he is intensely proud of representing England.
“He’ll make his own decisions but we are lucky at West Ham to have a current captain called Mark Noble who has been here for a number of years and has shown great loyalty to the club.
“I like to think Dec will be at West Ham for years to come, leading the club on to success.”
Pearce added on a man who has already taken the armband for the Hammers at times: “To be a captain, what you need in abundance is unselfishness. You have to understand when it is good for the team, even when it hurts your pride.
“Declan is an unselfish individual who puts the team before himself. That says it all at such a young age. He is prepared to do jobs for the team as most leaders are and that will benefit the team.
“I wouldn’t say it stifles his game but he is prepared to do that for the greater good. In the position he plays in especially, we ask for restraint from him.
“All the excitement and all the glamour is at the front end of the pitch in the main. All the hard jobs and the clean sheets and the dirty work is at the back end of the team and that is the way the game is.
“We know he has more goals in him than his record suggests. But we’re asking him to do a job for the team, which is to sit in front of the backline and knit our play together and break up play.
“He does it not just for West Ham but for England, too, and that tells you everything. That he does it at the age he is. He is still a very, very young man in footballing terms.
“I don’t think it was in doubt that our football club wouldn’t sell him. He’s a fantastic young prospect at the club and is integral to everything David Moyes wants to achieve here.
“His value can only go up, it can’t go down.”