‘Speaking to him’: Danny Murphy suggests 23-year-old West Ham player thinks he’s being played out of position
Rice has been a standout performer in east London for the past few seasons now and has been linked with a move away from West Ham.
The 23-year-old has attracted interest from Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City, according to the Telegraph.
The Hammers man has caught the attention of the biggest clubs due to his commanding displays from central midfield for both David Moyes’ men and England.
He’s certainly not renowned for his goalscoring as he’s managed just 11 goals in 215 appearances for West Ham. But Murphy thinks he could score ten goals every season if he played in a more advanced role for a team that dominates the ball.
Murphy on Rice
Speaking on Rio Ferdinand’s YouTube channel, Murphy suggested that Rice would prefer to play in a more advanced midfield role.
He said: “I think he could be a really devastating box-to-box player and get goals. I think he could get double figures in goals. Imagine him in a City side with Rodri behind him sitting, then him and [Kevin] De Bruyne for example.
“West Ham, they’re not a possession-based team. He has to sit in because [Tomas] Soucek bombs on and goes forward. He’s restricted.
“On the odd occasion when West Ham are desperate and you see him bursting forward and trying to make things happen in the last ten to twenty minutes of games. It’s an unbelievable sight the way he goes past people.
“He’s got them little give and goes in and around the box. He’ll get double figure goals. I don’t think someone should be buying him as a holding midfielder. Speaking to him, I don’t think he wants to play there.”
Rice has thrived at West Ham while playing in a deeper role and there’s no evidence to suggest that he could become a goalscoring midfielder.
That being said, his abilities on the ball certainly go under the radar at times and he is still a young player, so he could develop into a box-to-box midfielder.
But for now, Rice seems far more suited to the role he plays for club and country. He will be back in action for England this evening as Gareth Southgate’s men face their first knockout tie against Senegal.
The West Ham man will be hoping to get the nod once again in midfield and help England reach the quarter-finals.