Rice shouldn’t rush into West Ham exit – Ashton
Dean Ashton has warned Declan Rice not to leave West Ham United for a bigger club until he has got more experience under his belt.
Rice has been a regular first-team fixture for the Hammers since the 2016/17 Premier League season and his impressive performances in the heart of midfield have attracted the interest of Manchester United.
The 20-year-old has played every minute in the league for West Ham this term, one of only two players in the squad to do so alongside defender Issa Diop the other, and he has also received international recognition.
After deciding to switch allegiances from the Republic of Ireland to England, the midfielder has become a key part of Gareth Southgate’s set up, earning six caps for the Three Lions.
Rice continues to be heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to continue bringing in young British players, having added Harry Maguire, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka to his ranks in the summer.
An exit from the London Stadium does look inevitable for the former Chelsea youth star but Ashton, who played for the Hammers from 2006-2009 before an ankle injury forced him into early retirement, has offered some transfer advice.
The 35-year-old believes Rice should continue his development with West Ham for the next couple of years before making the move to United.
He told Goal: “He might need another season or two under his belt before making a move like there, where suddenly the pressure does become a lot more. I certainly wouldn’t be in any rush if I was Declan Rice. I think he’s in the right place to keep progressing his career.”
Rice is expected to make his 11th straight league start this season when West Ham welcome Newcastle to the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Hammers won this fixture 2-0 last season, with Rice heading in the opener before Mark Noble’s 42nd-minute penalty helped the hosts to a comfortable victory.