The Hammers were dealt a major blow on Easter Monday when it was confirmed that the midfielder has been ruled out for around four weeks following a knee injury sustained in England’s World Cup qualifier against Poland last week.
Rice’s injury could keep him out of West Ham’s next four Premier League matches, although his teammates certainly didn’t feel his absence in their victory at Wolves on Monday night – a result which saw them climb back into the top four.
But despite Noble having more than 500 West Ham appearances to his name, McAvennie believes that West Ham need someone with slightly more energy in order to maintain their European hopes.
He told Football FanCast:
“To play Noble for six weeks could set us back, no disrespect to him, but he’s just not got the energy or the legs that the younger guys have. David has got to find energy in the middle.
“If Rice is caught out and Soucek is up beside him, the two of them have got energy to get back, but Noble can’t. But if Johnson or whoever he wants to put in – Benrahma, and may have to play him a bit deeper, but he’s still got the energy to get up and down. Lingard, I don’t think he’ll bring him that far back.
“It’s a strange one and it’s going to be a headache for David Moyes.”
West Ham host fellow top-four side Leicester City at the London Stadium at the weekend, in a fixture that could have a big say on who qualifies for the Champions League.