West Ham United and Academy of Football product Declan Rice remain in a standoff over the youngster’s new contract, which the club are keen for him to sign in order to avoid losing the bright talent to a bigger club, either in the Premier League or in Europe.
The Republic of Ireland International has already rejected one offer from the Hammers, his agent demanding that the player deserves more than what was offered and certainly more than the £3,000 per-week he is currently on. Today, we carry out a statistics-driven tactical analysis to prove why the Irons must get one of their most prized possessions to sign a new long-term deal as soon as possible.
The Latest Offer
In the last few days, the details of the latest contract offer that the club have put on the table have been leaked, after Rice was believed to have rejected an offer of £15,000 per week.
The 19-year-old has now been offered £21,000 a week, with a 20K bonus per Premier League start, a 10K bonus per PL sub appearance, a 5K bonus per PL unused substitute appearance. He would also get a 5K rise every 15 Top-Flight appearance, the length of the proposed deal is five-and-a-half years and the club are hoping he will sign it during the International break.
Key Stats And Heatmap
For the main phase of our analysis displaying just how vital Rice is to Manuel Pellegrini’s side, we have enlisted the help of our friends over at wyscout.com, to bring you the below graphic, containing a block of his key stat averages from this season.
The stats are taken from his eight appearances in all competitions in 2018/2019, the Carabao Cup and the Premier League, as the 19-year-old lost his league starting place in August and regained it at the start of September.
As you can see, the starlet averages 90 minutes on the pitch, our first sign as to why he is so important to the Irons, only being taken off after starting once this season, in the opening day defeat to Liverpool.
Before we move onto the stats, a mini heatmap from all this matches this term can be seen on the left of the graphic, showing his average position of central defensive midfield, despite starting out his career as a centre-back.
The heatmap also shows us that Rice has been helping out all over the midfield, left, right and centre, as well as getting forward into the opposition half and mucking at the back, to help the defence.
The first stat we are drawn to in the image is total actions and the rate of success, Rice achieving an average of nearly 73 per game and a success rate of over 80 per cent, although he is yet to score in the first-team, this season, last or the one before, averaging zero goals.
He has registered an assist this campaign, teeing up Robert Snodgrass in the Carabao Cup thrashing of Macclesfield Town, hence his assist threat, but his shots, shots on target and expected goals ratings are very low, understandable for a defensive-minded midfielder.
His passing stats are arguably the most impressive part of his game, as you can see, registering 93% and 39.9% accuracy on his short and long passes, along with a 100% accuracy on his crosses.
The eye-catching stats continue as he is able to record the same with his dribbles (100% success rate) and wins comfortably over 50% of his average 12.43 and 2.37 duels and aerial duels.
Almost eight interceptions per-match shows his astonishing capabilities to break up opposition play in his much-stronger defensive side, he only averages 5.92 losses and over 14 recoveries, a fair amount of which are in the opposition half, just over 50% of his losses coming in his own half.
What the graphic doesn’t show is his completely clean disciplinary record, no mean feat for a player charged with protecting the defence, overall, it is hard to disagree that these stats are extremely impressive, especially when you consider his age and relative inexperience of just over a year in the first-team.
The Cherry On The Cake
The cherry on the cake for many and the thing that makes him stand out amount the up and coming PL talent is his seamless ability to deal with the pressures of modern football.
He has produced these remarkable stats in a time where he has been distracted by the debate surrounding his International football future and his contract saga, in a team struggling in its first few months under Pellegrini. It is a special ability that can’t be taken for granted by West Ham.
In conclusion, today’s statistical tactical analysis has found that the East Londoners must do everything in their power to get Rice to sign their “take it or leave it,” final contract offer of the season.
With a number of “Big Six” clubs waiting to swoop and land the prodigy’s signature, the Hammers can’t afford to take any risks and are playing a risky game. Not only is Rice the man rejuvenating the Academy of Football reputation but the stats also show he is well on his way to becoming a true club legend in East London and possibly a PL one, these are crucial times in the player’s and West Ham’s future.