West Ham United sign Declan Rice to new long-term contract
West Ham United is delighted to announce that Declan Rice has signed a new long-term contract until summer 2024, with a further one year option for the Club to extend.
The outstanding Rice, who turns 20 in January, has committed his future to the Club he joined as a 14-year-old schoolboy.
The teenager, who has been in fantastic form in recent months and passed 50 first-team appearances in December, is looking forward to continuing his flourishing career in Claret and Blue.
I’ve had the support from the fans, from the players and from the manager and now, to get it done and commit myself to this Club is a very special moment
Discussing his new contract, Rice said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have got the contract done, signed and to commit my future to the Club until 2024. I’m absolutely ecstatic”.
“Without a doubt, the plan was always to stay at West Ham. I’ve had the support from the fans, from the players and from the manager and now, to get it done and commit myself to this Club is a very special moment and I’m over the moon.
“I’ve now played 50 games for the first team and I’m progressing week-in, week-out, learning from a top manager and top players. I’m still young, so to put more years on my contract and keep developing here is the best thing for me to do now. With the support of the manager, the players, everyone, it was the right thing to do.”
Now his future has been sorted out, Rice can focus 100 per cent on helping the Hammers continue their rise up the Premier League standings, with European qualification a realistic target.
“Without a doubt, you’ve seen now the way we’ve played after the first four games, that’s what we’ve got to be aiming for, for those European spots. With the players we’ve got out injured to come back in, we’ve definitely got to be aiming high.
“We’ve got 60,000 fans now, with that being increased, we’ve got a top manager who has won a Premier League title and quality players in the squad, so there is no reason why we can’t be competing at the top, for sure.” said Rice.
It has always been our intention to keep our best players – particularly those who have come through our Academy – at West Ham United and build our Club for the future
Joint-Chairman David Sullivan
Joint-Chairman David Sullivan, who was instrumental in finalising the deal, was thrilled to secure Rice’s services for the next five-and-a-half years.
“Signing Declan to a new long-term contract is something we have been planning for and working round the clock on and I, the Board, the manager and Declan himself are all very happy that everything has now been completed,” he said.
“Finalising contracts takes time but it has always been our intention to keep our best players – particularly those who have come through our Academy – at West Ham United and build our Club for the future. I finalised the deal on Christmas Day and have been working to get the paperwork done as quickly as possible and I’d especially like to thank Club Secretary Andrew Pincher, one of our great unsung heroes, for working with me through Christmas to get this over the line.
“I’d also like to give a special mention to Academy Director, Terry Westley, who has been instrumental in working with Declan over the years to develop and nurture his talent.
“Declan’s new contract comes hot on the heels of Mark Noble also extending his stay at the Club. That news, along with the outstanding form of the team and the increase to a 60,000 capacity at London Stadium are all signs that we are moving in the right direction.”
An outstanding prospect and already an integral part of the West Ham starting XI, Rice joined the Academy of Football five-and-a-half years ago and has not looked back since.
A born leader and technically-gifted player blessed with maturity and composure beyond his tender years, the 19-year-old led the Irons at schoolboy and youth-team level before being appointed captain of the U23s while still a scholar.
After skippering the young professionals to promotion and being named Young Hammer of the Year in spring 2017, Rice was handed his first-team debut by Slaven Bilic in the final game of the 2016/17 Premier League season at Burnley.
The versatile youngster then established himself in 2017/18, first under Bilic and later under David Moyes, totalling 31 appearances in a variety of defensive and midfield positions and earning a senior international debut for the Republic of Ireland in March 2018.
And Rice’s development has continued under Manuel Pellegrini, who has fielded him regularly in a deep-lying central midfield role that he has made his own this season.
Now, with his long-term future at London Stadium confirmed, the Academy graduate can concentrate on taking his already considerable game to an even higher level.