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West Ham v Arsenal: David Moyes comments on Declan Rice

David Moyes isn’t sure he wants to see Arsenal pick Declan Rice to face West Ham United on Wednesday night.

West Ham United boss David Moyes has hailed Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice as a ‘brilliant’ player ahead of his East London return.

The Carabao Cup takes centre stage this week as West Ham host Arsenal in the round of 16 on Wednesday night.

Hammers fans are no doubt dreaming of a long cup run but they will have to get past Rice and Arsenal.

Rice left West Ham for Arsenal in a huge £105million deal over the summer and will now make a first return to the London Stadium.

Rice’s final act as a West Ham player was to win the Europa Conference League title and he will surely receive a positive reception on Wednesday night.

West Ham boss Moyes has now offered his view on the situation whilst speaking to the Irish Examiner.

Moyes is hoping that West Ham fans give Rice a great ovation at the London Stadium having ‘conducted himself impeccably’ as a Hammer.

The Scot feels that Rice was simply ‘brilliant’ for West Ham and gave 100% every time he pulled on the famous claret and blue shirt.

Moyes adds that he is looking forward to seeing Rice again, but isn’t too keen on the idea of Mikel Arteta actually picking him in the Arsenal lineup.

“You’ve got to remember this is the man who lifted this club’s first European trophy in more than 50 years,” said Moyes. “He should be welcomed back with open arms. We’re all looking forward to seeing him again. He was a brilliant member of the team. He led the team brilliantly well. He conducted himself impeccably as a West Ham captain and as a player.”

“The most important thing was that he gave 100 per cent in every game, even though we sort of knew he probably wasn’t going to stay at West Ham. So all credit to him. He conducted himself brilliantly well and for that alone he deserves to be cheered.”

“I’m really looking forward to seeing Dec again. I’ve not seen him since he left. I don’t know if I want him to play, but I hope he’s there,” he added.

Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

My view: Arsenal would be wise to bench Rice

Rice has unsurprisingly been a vital player for Arsenal ever since his move but this feels like a good time to manage his minutes.

Rice has missed just 54 minutes of Premier League action this season and played 90 minutes for England against Italy in the international break.

The 24-year-old has now started all of Arsenal’s games since then and giving him a rest in the Carabao Cup would be smart.

Rice would still be available from the bench, able to make an impact if Arsenal need him in what could be a tough game.

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