‘I don’t want him to play!’ – David Moyes speaks out on Declan Rice’s return to West Ham

The Arsenal star will return to his boyhood club for the first time in the Carabao Cup.

‘I don’t want him to play!’ – David Moyes speaks out on Declan Rice’s return to West Ham
Sevilla FC v Arsenal FC: Group B - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Declan Rice joined Arsenal from West Ham for over £100million (Photo: Getty)

David Moyes says Declan Rice ‘should be welcomed back with open arms’ when Arsenal travel to West Ham on Wednesday night.

The Gunners take on the Irons at the London Stadium in the Carabao Cup round of 16 in what should be a great meeting between the two Premier League sides.

It will also be the first time that Rice will be back at his boyhood club after swapping East for North London over the summer in a record transfer worth £105million.

With Thomas Partey injured, Mikel Arteta confirmed that the England internationalwill play some role in the match, though it is uncertain whether he’ll be in the starting XI, especially with a tricky league clash at Newcastle on Saturday.

Either way, the Arsenal boss says the reunion will be ‘beautiful’ and Moyes echoes this comments – even if he is hopeful that the defensive midfielder doesn’t actually get on the pitch.

‘I hope we’ll see Declan back,’ the Irons manager said in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.

‘This is the man who lifted the first European trophy in 50 years at West Ham. He should be welcomed back with open arms. 

West Ham United Trophy Parade
Rice and David Moyes won the Europa Conference League with West Ham last season (Photo: Getty)

‘He was a brilliant member of the team and conducted himself impeccably as a West Ham captain. I’m really looking forward to seeing him, I’ve not seen him since he left.

‘I’m not sure I want him to play! But I hope he is there.’

After making his debut in 2017, Rice would go on to play 245 times for West Ham, establishing himself as one of the world’s best players in his position in that time.

He would be named club captain in his final year at the London Stadium, leading the club to the Europa Conference League title, and though his departure had felt inevitable for ages, there is nothing but praise for the amicable way in which it happened.

‘The way Dec conducted himself, he was involved with the supporters, he was always seen helping the club out,’ Moyes added.

‘And the most important thing was he gave 100% in every game even though we all sort of know he wasn’t staying at West Ham. For that alone he deserves to be cheered.’

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