Geoff Hurst suggests position change for West Ham's Declan Rice

Former England player Geoff Hurst takes a walk on the pitch ahead of the International friendly football match between England and Italy at Wembley stadium in London on March 27, 2018.

West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice has impressed over the last year.

Former England player Geoff Hurst takes a walk on the pitch ahead of the International friendly football match between England and Italy at Wembley stadium in London on March 27, 2018.

West Ham United hero Geoff Hurst has told the Daily Star that he thinks Declan Rice has a future as a centre back rather than as a midfielder.

The Hammers started their season in dismal fashion, as they were thrashed 5-0 by Manchester City at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Manuel Pellegrini will have to pick up his players ahead of the weekend clash with Brighton and Hove Albion, as another defeat would mirror last season's dreadful start.

 

Many are having their say about West Ham after that defeat, and after a difficult game, midfielder Rice has been discussed by many.

Rice – valued at £70million according to a report from The Sun – didn't enjoy a particularly fine outing, and that was compounded by encroaching on Sergio Aguero's saved penalty, meaning the spot kick was taken again – and he scored the second attempt.

Now, Hammers legend Hurst suggests that he knows people who think Rice would be better as a centre back rather than as a defensive midfielder, and that may well be his best spot, suggesting a position change.

“People are saying he looks possibly more likely to be groomed as a central defender who can tackle, head, he’s composed at the back,” said Hurst. “That may well be his best spot. If he progresses in that position with his attitudes so far, he’s going to be an outstanding player for this country,” he added.

Declan Rice of West Ham United during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City at London Stadium on August 10, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

For now, that seems unlikely. Pellegrini trusts Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena as his centre back duo, and he doesn't have the quality in central midfield to make that kind of switch right now anyway.

What's interesting though is David Moyes actually used Rice as a centre back, before Pellegrini ditched that idea to play him in holding midfield, to great effect last season.

Rice suggested earlier this year that he prefers playing in midfield (Standard), and the decision on whether to change his position will ultimately rest with Pellegrini, who would surely do that if really pressed into the decision by injuries or suspensions.

Declan Rice of West Ham during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City at London Stadium on August 10, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

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