Man Utd must pay ‘huge sum’ to sign next Gerrard | Soccer | sport
Declan Rice’s FA Cup heroism has once again underlined why he is one of the most in-demand talents in Europe at the moment and why Manchester United need him more than most. West Ham manager David Moyes may well demand ‘a huge sum’ for the midfielder’s services but the Red Devils have to bite the bullet. It’s a price they just have to pay for their previous transfer mistakes.
As the Hammers headed into an all-powerful FA Cup upset by lowly Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday, Moyes’ men needed something – or someone – special. Advance Rice.
Entering the fray at half-time, the 22-year-old was tasked with pulling West Ham out of the mud and, while he left it late, the versatile midfielder duly delivered.
As the game entered injury time, Rice extended the ball before bouncing into space and receiving the rebound.
Showing unrivaled drive and determination, the midfielder then burst inside before kicking the ball past Kiddy’s hapless keeper Luke Simpson to delight the adoring fans.
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It was a moment of FA Cup magic, but also an example of play that becomes a familiar feature of Rice’s ever-impressive repertoire.
Time and again, Rice shows he can take a game by the scruff of the neck and turn it around. It’s no wonder he draws comparisons to the great Steven Gerrard.
The heartbeat of this Hammers team, Rice has shaken off the misguided view that his preference is to play safe and to the side, instead continuing his emergence as a conquering midfielder who is not afraid to take risks.
He is, quite simply, all that another type of United in the center of the park lacks – the United in Manchester.
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The Red Devils midfield woes have been well documented of late and while reinforcements in that area are sure to arrive this summer, there is only one player the Old Trafford side should consider: the jewel in West Ham’s crown.
Paul Pogba was supposed to be the man to fill said void in midfield, but as he inch ever closer to turning his back on United for the second time, the club must come to terms with the fact that his return to the £89m home just didn’t work out.
Hours before Rice’s remarkable cameo, Ralf Rangnick’s United succumbed to Championship side Middlesbrough on penalties in Pogba’s return to action as no heroes came forward.
In the wake of Rice’s latest masterclass and amid speculation surrounding a move to United or a return to Chelsea – to his beloved childhood Blues – Moyes was quick to dissuade potential suitors from considering a approach for West Ham’s FA Cup savior.
“I can’t stop this except tell them you’ll need huge money to get closer,” the Scot said of recent transfer talks involving Rice.
“That’s what should be done. They can write all they want, but he’s definitely here for a few years.
“I said this summer that I thought Declan Rice was [worth] £100 million. It was the sales, it was cheap, it was your chance to get Declan Rice on the cheap. You can get an idea of what I’m talking about.
“There are very few people like him there. It’s like buying something that there aren’t many of them.
“He’s a special, special, special player and for me he’s probably the best midfielder in Europe right now.”
Although United have already splashed the nth degree of cash since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in a bid to return to the glory days of yesteryear, their efforts have been in vain.
And while it may take a bank-breaking offer to lure the Hammers’ prized asset away from west London, Moyes is right: Rice is unique.
United must come to terms with the mistakes that came before and do everything they can to add him to their ranks.
After all, his signature would seem less like a bet than a guarantee of success.