At first glance, you won’t find a less exciting encounter than Burnley vs West Ham on the final day of the season. Neither side have exactly set the world on fire this term and as they prepare to take each other on at Turf Moor this Sunday, they don’t really have anything to play for.
But Hammers gaffer Slaven Bilic has hinted he’ll use the occasion to give one of his youngsters some Premier League experience, namely hot prospect Declan Rice, who has captained the U23s to promotion to Division One of PL2 this term and accordingly claimed the Young Player of the Year award at the London Stadium.
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) May 19, 2017
That declaration (excuse the pun), will be like music to the ears of West Ham fans. Their club has a long and prestigious history of developing academy talents into top-class stars, but the conveyor belt has slowed down in recent years and due to their inconsistency this season, Bilic has had few opportunities to blood any in.
Rice could well be the man to buck that trend, should he produce an impressive performance at Burnley this Sunday.