Declan Rice has outlined as ambitions to push for ‘big trophies’ and play in the Champions League – to fuel speculation he will look to leave West Ham in 2023.
The Hammers star is currently on international duty with England at the World Cup, and started each of the Three Lions’ group games that saw them advance to the Round of 16.
The 23-year-old’s call-up for Qatar marks his second major tournament with his country already, having also represented England at Euro 2020.
Last season marked a strong campaign for Rice in club football too, as West Ham finished seventh and made the semi-finals of the Europa League.
But 2022/23 has been a different tale for the Hammers so far, with the east London outfit sitting 16th in the table, just one point off the Premier League drop zone.
Now, Rice has hinted that his time at West Ham may soon be up, given he has his eyes set on playing at the very top and battling for major honours like many of his England teammates.
“For the last two or three years I’ve been saying that [I want more],” he told the media in Qatar on Thursday.
“You know, I’ve been playing consistently well for the club and I feel like I really want to keep pushing.
“I see my friends here that are playing Champions League, winning the big trophies.
“You only get one career and at the end of your career you want to look back and [look at] what you’ve won and the biggest games you’ve played in.
“I’m really ambitious and I really want to do that.”
In his eight years at West Ham since he arrived there after being released by Chelsea as a youngster, Rice has played 215 games for the Hammers senior side – but hasn’t won a trophy.
The defensive midfielder was already expected to leave at the end of the campaign, with his role in the international team and at the London Stadium garnering plenty of interest from other clubs.
But with stars such as close friend and Champions League winner Mason Mount being alongside him in the Middle East, Rice may have already mentally headed for the exit at the London Stadium.
England next face Group A runners-up Senegal in the Round of 16 as Rice and the rest of Gareth Southgate’s side look to secure the Three Lions’ first major honour since 1966.
Rice knows the threat Senegal will pose, but believes England’s “world-class” squad deserve to be feared.
“I think it’s top, top level,” Rice said of the England squad in Qatar.
“It’s always nice to know you can bring players off the bench who can instantly change the game.
“Whether we’re drawing 0-0 and need a freshen up up front, or we need a change in legs in midfield, or even at the back, we’ve got players that are world class that can come on and change the game instantly.
“Throughout a World Cup you’re going to need that quality. So I think it ranks really high among other squads in the tournament.
“Why should we not be feared? I think other nations will always look at us and think about the quality we’ve got in the squad. If you look at our attacking players, there are world class, unbelievable talents across the board. Across the whole team.
“There are players who have played in the biggest games, won the biggest trophies. We are one of the biggest teams here.”
- Declan Rice suggests he’ll look to leave West Ham as he wants Champions League football like his England teammates at World Cup
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