Report: West Ham to raid Chelsea for teen Pierre Ekwah, will cost £1.3m
French website RMC Sport have claimed that West Ham United are set to raid Chelsea for impressive youngster Pierre Ekwah. The France Under-19 international has caught the eye at West Ham having broken into Chelsea’s reserve side during the 2020-21 campaign – and has impressed on trial.
Indeed, 19-year-old Ekwah played five times for Chelsea’s Under-23 side throughout the 2020-21 season. A defensive midfielder, Ekwah then went on trial at West Ham towards the end of the campaign and making two appearances – both against Arsenal – he impressed onlookers.
Ekwah even scored in a 2-1 win over Arsenal and now, reports from France claim he is set to complete a similar move to one Declan Rice completed. England midfielder Rice made the switch between Chelsea and West Ham as a teenager and Ekwah is expected to do so. His contract expires in June.
But because of his age, West Ham will have to pay Chelsea a fee of £1.3million in compensation. The Hammers are seemingly planning for the future, especially in midfield. Club captain Mark Noble will leave in 12 months, while Declan Rice’s future is in doubt.
Can Ekwah be West Ham’s new Rice – ahead of move from Chelsea?
Rice joined West Ham from Chelsea, albeit slightly younger than Ekwah is now. He has since gone on to become West Ham’s best player. Commanding in central midfield, his defensive shield of the back four has been crucial in getting Europa League football.
Ekwah is showing similar signs, as well as being a goal threat. He scored five goals in 24 Chelsea Under-18 outings – and then one for the Hammers on trial. Excellent on the ball but more than adept to play in defence, Ekwah is showing all the traits of Rice. Is he as good? Time will tell.