Former Argentina international Pablo Zabaleta has urged his West Ham side to secure the signature of Declan Rice, following a contract dispute.
Rice played as a centre-back last season when he was brought into the team by then manager David Moyes, and quickly became a fan favourite. This season he has been deployed in central-midfield role and has once again impressed. The 19-year-old was crucial to West Ham’s victory away to Everton, as well as his side’s clean sheet against Chelsea last weekend.
Rice is currently earning £3,000 a week, but West Ham recently gave him an offer of £12,000 a week. However, Rice and his associates are waiting for an offer closer to £30,000 a week.
Former Premier League winner Pablo Zabaleta has weighed in on the situation and believes that West Ham should do everything in their power to keep last season’s Young Hammer of the Year.
Speaking to the Guardian, Zabaleta said: ”He is young and still has room for improvement for sure.
”But he has the right ability and attitude to become one of the greatest players for West Ham.”
Zabaleta, who signed for West Ham in 2017, went on to say: ”He is in the last year of his contract so West Ham need to think about his situation because, even though he is young, he looks so mature and is proving he can perform for the team. He is one of those young players you like to look after and help with all the information you can give him.”
The former Manchester City defender concluded: ”Let’s not put more pressure on him, and instead see how far he can go as a player…He has a lot more to learn but all the players in the dressing room need to look after him and keep his feet on the ground. Even at the age of 19, if you play two or three good games in this league, you attract attention from everyone.”