WHU can ease growing Moyes fear by signing “exemplary” gem, may cost Sullivan nothing – opinion
David Sullivan can solve David Moyes’ dire fear of becoming too reliant on Declan Rice by reviving West Ham’s interest in Sheffield United midfielder John Lundstram during the January transfer window.
What’s the word?
Speaking following Sunday’s 1-0 win over the Blades, via quotes by football.london, Moyes revealed he is growing concerned that West Ham are calling on Rice to feature far too often for a player of his age.
The 21-year-old is one of just three outfield Hammers players to have featured for all 810 minutes of Premier League football thus far this term, was the only Irons figure to play all 3,420 minutes last season and started 34 top-flight fixtures during the 2018/19 campaign.
Rice’s importance to the starting line-up was only met by six other outfield players across the division during the 19/20 term, and repeating another campaign without regular breaks could prove worrisome with medical teams lobbying against their own clubs for the re-introduction of five substitutes following a spate of early-season injuries.
West Ham, themselves, have been a victim of the increased strain on players after Michail Antonio sustained a hamstring injury last month, and Moyes seems to fear a similar issue befalling Rice if the London Stadium outfit cannot better manage the midfielder’s workload.
“I might be repeating myself but a lot of the talk, rightly so, went to Jack Grealish, Mason Mount and Phil Foden after the England game in midweek but I thought a lot more praise should have gone to Declan Rice for his performance then,” Moyes said.
“Also, how he has improved because he is a very similar age, sometimes you forget that. The role, his responsibility he takes on the pitch because of his young age, his leadership qualities will build. He has learned from Harry Kane, Mark Noble, I really think he is doing a great job as a player and we are building up hope that he will be an outstanding captain.
“My big concern is that he is so young that we rely on him too much.”
Is Lundstram the answer?
With Moyes seemingly fearful of losing Rice if West Ham cannot better manage the England international’s workload, his words should ring around the ears of Sullivan and his team at the London Stadium ahead of the January transfer market.
The Scottish coach will no doubt he hopeful of utilising the mid-season window to invest in adding depth behind Rice and Tomas Soucek, another to have played all 810 minutes of Premier League football this season, with Mark Noble only starting once, Manuel Lanzini earning each of his four appearances from the bench and Robert Snodgrass playing just one minute in the top-flight thus far.
Moyes could find his solution in a former target, with ExWHUemployee recently claiming Sheffield United’s Lundstram remains an option after West Ham failed to seal a deal for the £7.2million-rated midfielder this summer.
Blades boss Chris Wilder has since stated that the Bramall Lane natives are not in an “ideal situation” regarding Lundstram’s future, as the 26-year-old continues to refuse a new contract and could be sold in January with his terms expiring next summer – a pre-contract ahead of next season may well be a possibility.
West Ham would be landing a player Wilder hails as an “exemplary” figure for being able to drift in and out of a side without impacting his performances, should they look to revive their interest, and one who was an integral part of the Blades’ initial form upon promotion last term.
Lundstram started 26 of Sheffield United’s Premier League fixtures in the 2019/20 season and has opened seven of his nine appearances in the current campaign, in which he’s played the most key balls (11) and amassed the third-most total passes (286), fourth-most successful dribbles (10) and blocked the joint-most shots (5) of Wilder’s midfielders, per SofaScore.
It remains to be seen if Moyes does urge Sullivan to revive efforts to sign Lundstram, but his comments on Rice would suggest he is keen for additional options at West Ham.
AND in other news, a “commanding figure” could be set to leave West Ham in the January window.
The post John Lundstram: West Ham can solve Moyes’ Declan Rice fear in Sheffield United ace first appeared on FootballFanCast.com.
Source: Football – Football Fan Cast