West Ham United have been dealt yet another injury setback ahead of their upcoming Europa League fixture.
That’s according to a claim made by ExWHUemployee, who revealed on a recent episode of The West Ham Way podcast that Declan Rice is a doubt for the Europa League round of 16 clash against Sevilla on Thursday, as the midfielder has a virus.
Speaking about the current condition of the 23-year-old, the West Ham insider said: “Declan has some kind of virus which needs to be monitored. Apparently, he’s still not feeling great today [Monday], which is not good news.
“It’s not [the ongoing viral pandemic]. They’ve done a number of tests, and it’s been proven it’s not [related to the pandemic].
“I think it’s more like a chest infection with virus symptoms. Obviously, you can’t really play through that. You know what it’s like when you’ve got a real bad temperature and you just feel so run down and lethargic – there is no way you can play 90 minutes feeling like that.
“So, we’ve just got to hope that he miraculously recovers by Thursday because I think, at the moment, it’s going to be touch and go whether he’s going to be fit enough.”
Considering the fact that Jarrod Bowen looks as if he will be unavailable for selection for the trip to Sevilla after picking up an injury in the 1-0 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday, the news that Rice could also be set to sit out the round of 16 first leg tie is sure to have left David Moyes devastated.
Indeed, over his 26 Premier League appearances so far this season, the £75m-rated England international has been in imperious form for the Hammers, scoring one goal, registering four assists and creating two big chances for his teammates, as well as making an average of 0.8 key passes and taking 0.7 shots per game.
The £62k-per-week defensive midfielder has also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making an average of 1.7 interceptions, 2.4 tackles, 51.9 passes, 71.2 touches and winning 5.4 duels – at a success rate of 58% – per fixture.
These returns have seen the 23-year-old average a quite extraordinary SofaScore match rating of 7.20, not only ranking him as West Ham’s best performer in the league but also as the joint 25th-best player in the top flight as a whole.
As such, it is clear for all to see that being without the services of Rice, in addition to not being able to call upon Bowen, against Sevilla will come as a huge blow to the Hammers’ chances of securing a positive result at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium on Thursday – as well as being a situation that is sure to have left Moyes and West Ham supporters alike gutted.