Has Declan Rice saved West Ham £35million, is he the reason for club's controversial decision?

West Ham United's Croatian manager Slaven Bilic looks on before the English Premier League football match between Southampton and West Ham United at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton,...

West Ham United have endured a torrid start to the new season but Declan Rice has been a rare ray of light.

West Ham United's Croatian manager Slaven Bilic looks on before the English Premier League football match between Southampton and West Ham United at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton,...

The Hammers sit bottom of the Premier League after losing their opening three games and with a minus eight goal difference.

The club seemed to be moving in the right direction this summer by drastically improving their recruitment in signing Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez.

However, as evidenced by their performances this season, more was needed and the fallout from the failed pursuit of William Carvalho has seen supporters turn on co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold.

But it hasn't all been doom and gloom with the emergence of young starlet Declan Rice a major plus.

Southampton's Italian striker Manolo Gabbiadini (L) vies with West Ham United's Irish defender Declan Rice during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and West Ham...

The former Chelsea youth prospect has made a real impact and looked at home in the Premier League, despite a mistake which cost his side a goal in the 3-0 defeat to Newcastle last time out.

Equally adept in central defence of central midfield, Rice has slotted in seamlessly breaking up play and putting his stamp on the game, unlike many of those around him.

As far as Hammers fans are concerned Rice should be one of the first names on the team sheet based on performances and many were angry with Bilic for taking the youngster off at half-time after his mistake.

Portugal's midfielder William Carvalho attends a training session ahead of the Russia 2017 Confederation Cup football tournament in Kazan on on June 16, 2017.

Rice is highly regarded at West Ham and the club feel he could well be their answer to Tottenham Hotspur holding midfield star Eric Dier.

So could that be the real reason behind the club's reluctance to push the boat out for Carvalho? Did they get cold feet after witnessing Rice's fearless displays?

Time will tell but one thing is for certain, the Republic of Ireland under 21 star certainly deserves an extended run in the team to prove his worth.

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