West Ham’s Proactive Strategy to Fill the Void Left by Declan Rice
As football enthusiasts continue to digest the news of Declan Rice’s imminent departure from the London Stadium, the West Ham management is taking proactive measures to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.
Joao Palhinha: The Fulham Stalwart and Top Target
The Hammers’ eyes have turned towards Fulham’s steadfast midfielder, Joao Palhinha. With a noteworthy debut season in south London under his belt, Palhinha has caught the attention of West Ham’s decision-makers. Kieran Gill of The Daily Mail reports that the Portuguese international, who topped the league with 147 tackles last season, is the prime candidate to fill the shoes of the departing captain.
Even though Fulham parted with a sizable £20 million to secure Palhinha’s services a mere 12 months ago, the Hammers remain confident of their ability to lure the talented player away from their London counterparts.
The Search for Replacements: Other Names on the Radar
In an atmosphere of change, West Ham’s chairman, David Sullivan, recently indicated the club’s willingness to delve into the transfer market for Rice’s replacement, potentially even considering multiple players to bolster their ranks.
Interestingly, Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips has also emerged on the Hammers’ radar. West Ham had previously placed a hefty £50 million bid for the 27-year-old in January 2022, before he opted for a move to City in the subsequent window. Despite limited starting opportunities at the Etihad Stadium during the 2022-23 Premier League season, Phillips appears set on the challenge of earning a regular spot in Manchester City’s first eleven.
Manchester United’s Scott McTominay: A Potential Option?
Scott McTominay of Manchester United is another player potentially being considered to step into Rice’s boots. The Scottish international had a challenging time securing regular game time in the concluding months of the season under Erik ten Hag’s guidance, and a move to West Ham could offer a fresh start.
Available Talent from the Championship
As the summer transfer window approaches, West Ham’s search for potential additions expands beyond the Premier League. Following Southampton’s unfortunate relegation to the Championship, the club’s captain, James Ward-Prowse, could be available at a more affordable price. His availability and potential fit within the Hammers’ squad will certainly be a point of discussion during the transfer period.
Harvey Barnes: Potential Competition from Aston Villa
The Hammers are also reportedly showing interest in Leicester City’s Harvey Barnes, although they face competition from Aston Villa. The coming months will reveal whether West Ham’s active approach to the transfer window will pay off, ensuring a solid squad despite the departure of their influential captain, Declan Rice.