West Ham youngster Declan Rice signs new deal; hopes to emulate Moore and Ferdinand


The 17-year-old has set his sights high after signing his first professional contract.

West Ham United youngster Declan Rice has spoken of his desire to follow in the footsteps of some of the club’s greats, in quotes published on whufc.com.

The highly-rated defender signed his first professional contract with the club yesterday and hopes this is just the beginning of a long and successful journey.

“It is an amazing feeling to sign a three-year deal with West Ham and it is exciting to be part of the Club as we move into the new Stadium,” said Rice.

“With the players that West Ham are now attracting, it is amazing to train with the first-team and hopefully I can be a part of it next season.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic

With pre-season looming, it is a chance for Rice to make an impression on Slaven Bilic and despite the competition for places, the 17-year-old has been boosted by the success of his fellow Academy talents.

“I am so happy that Reece (Oxford) and Josh Cullen have broken into the first-team," he said. "Hopefully I can follow in their footsteps and impress Slaven Bilic during the pre-season.


“We have had a number of great defenders like Bobby Moore, Rio Ferdinand and Slaven and I would love to achieve what they did.”

Rice clearly has big plans for his Hammers career and that is exactly the kind of attitude he will need to maintain if he is to replicate the likes of Moore or Ferdinand.

Rio Ferdinand

The club clearly have high hopes for the centre-back, offering him his first professional contract within six months of him joining on a scholarship deal, and it will be intriguing to follow his progression in the coming years.

Given West Ham’s new spending power and strong crop of centre-backs, a first-team place does not look likely soon however, and a loan move could be the next port of call for Rice.

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