West Ham co-owner wants Declan Rice to be the "future of the England team"
West Ham's co-owner is ambitious about the future of the club.
David Gold, who owns West Ham with his business partner David Sullivan, appointed Manuel Pellegrini as manager earlier this week as the club seek to improve on a difficult campaign last season.
They sacked Slaven Bilic and appointed David Moyes to help them avoid relegation. The former Manchester United manager achieved his task, but West Ham parted ways with him at the end of the campaign.
West Ham's owners are unpopular with most of the club's supporters over the move to the Olympic Stadium, and badly need to have an improved season next year.
Yer Da and his mates enjoyed themselves today... pic.twitter.com/M2OtRU2O0U
— Robert Redmond (@RobRedmond10) March 10, 2018
Pellegrini is viewed as an ambitious appointment and he'll reportedly be one of the best-paid managers in the Premier League. Gold's ambition extends to Declan Rice, one of the few positive notes from the Hammers' campaign last season. The West Ham co-owner rates Rice so highly, he went on radio to predict that he will become a key player for the England national team.
"I'm looking forward to the new manager turning Declan Rice into a strong English defender for the future of the England team," Gold told Talk Sport on Wednesday.
Gold's optimism regarding Rice is admirable, but there's just one problem with his prediction - Rice is a Republic of Ireland international.
The 19-year-old has played for Irish underage teams, from U16 to U21, and made his senior debut in a friendly against Turkey in March. Rice received the man of the match award for his display.
However, he is still eligible to play for England, as he was born in London and only featured in a friendly for Ireland. So, it's possible Gold knows something we don't. Or he isn't aware that Rice has played a game for Ireland.
Either way, his claim provoked a reaction from West Ham fans.
Ha ha! David Gold hoping Manuel Pellegrini will turn Declan Rice into and ENGLAND player... Already setting unrealistic targets! 😂😂😂
— Daniel Gabbidon (@Gabbidon35) May 23, 2018
@davidgold Live on @talkSPORT - "Pellegrini hasn't seen the stadium yet" - He was at the stadium last night David. "We want Pellergrini to make Declan Rice an England player" He's Irish David. Another media blunder. @ExWHUemployee @davewalkersdcc @JimWhite
— Oliver (@HazelwoodOlly) May 23, 2018