Journalist Pete O’Rourke has made a concerning claim regarding West Ham United’s summer transfer window…
What’s the word?
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the respected insider hinted that the Hammers are likely to receive bids for both Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen this summer, following the pair’s impressive form in recent seasons.
Having been discussing the future of Rice initially, O’Rourke went on to suggest that his compatriot and teammate could also be the subject of interest in the upcoming window: “West Ham have put a huge price-tag on his head. That probably shows how much they value Declan Rice. I’m sure West Ham would love to keep both players right now, but I’m sure, there will be offers for both players during the summer transfer window, considering how good seasons both players have had.”
The former has been mooted for a departure despite the east Londoners placing a £150m asking price on his head, while the latter has courted attention from Liverpool due to his remarkable form, with reports that he could fetch as much as £75m.
Supporters will be fuming
Although such price tags may prove a stumbling block for an interested party, there is a potential that David Moyes’s side could lose £225m worth of talent this summer, a scenario that would likely derail what has been a real upturn in fortunes in recent years.
The most recent campaign saw the Irons enjoy a stunning surge to the Europa League semi-finals, where they were subsequently defeated by eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt, having also secured a seventh-place finish domestically to earn a place in next season’s Europa Conference League.
Back-to-back continental voyages would have appeared unthinkable when Moyes began his second spell just over two years ago, although the Scotsman has masterfully overseen a real shift in form, with next season’s aim likely to be to try and threaten a top-four finish.
Much of that success has been centred around the talismanic presence of young Rice, the 23-year-old leading the side as skipper in the absence of the recently-retired Mark Noble, while also proving the real heartbeat of the team in the centre of the park.
Who is more important to West Ham?
Not just recognised as one of the best in his position in the top-flight, the £67.5m-rated gem also compares favourably to his peers across Europe’s top five leagues, ranking in the top 9% for progressive carries, the top 6% for pass completion and the top 5% for interceptions, showcasing his talent both in and out of possession.
Statistics alone can’t solely illustrate his worth, however, as he has developed into a real leader of late both on and off the pitch, with any potential exit likely to leave a sizeable void in the current squad.
As for compatriot Bowen, the former Hull City man has stepped up as the club’s chief goal-getter and provider, netting 12 goals and registering ten assists in a standout campaign in the league in the 2021/22 season, with only Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (13) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (12) laying on more assists.
That form has finally seen a long-awaited Three Lions nod emerge, with the £80k-per-week star likely hoping to keep his strong form going at the start of next term in order to earn a place in the World Cup squad.
Staying put in a settled environment at the London Stadium would likely help his cause for selection, with West Ham supporters certainly hoping that the forward sees it that way.
To lose one of their star duo would be a real punch to the gut for both Moyes and supporters, although losing both figures could prove a knockout blow to their hopes of building on the club’s recent rise.