West Ham manager David Moyes does not fear an exodus of his key players if they fail to secure Champions League football next season.
After avoiding relegation at the end of the 2019-20 campaign, the Hammers have kicked on hugely this term and are in the mix for European qualification ahead of Monday’s trip to Wolves.
With the admirers of Declan Rice increasing and fellow midfielder Tomas Soucek attracting a number of plaudits for his displays this season, Moyes was asked if West Ham need to get into the Champions League to keep their best players.
The Scot was quick to point out the aforementioned duo were at the other end of the table last season while Manchester United loanee Jesse Lingard had failed to play a single minute of Premier League football this season before his January arrival.
Moyes said: “When we signed Tomas Soucek, we brought him in to help us avoid relegation. Declan Rice was playing in that relegation team and Jesse has come to help us to get some games.
“To turn around and say we would need to be in the Champions League to keep them, I think all those players would be saying a massive thank you to West Ham for helping them get their careers back on track and for putting them in the right direction.
“I hope we can make the Champions League but if we don’t, I don’t see that has to be the reason that we can keep them. The biggest thing any footballer wants to see is the club makes progress and individually they are making progress.
“Yes any club can make offers for players but we’ve not had any big offers. I hope we don’t get any but if we do, like any other club, we would consider them.
“I don’t know where the Bank of England is for Tomas Soucek but I’ve said with Declan, it would take the Bank of England and the Royal Bank of Scotland to get him. It will have to be the Bank of Czech as well for Tomas!”
Moyes conceded West Ham do need to make sure they remain at a high level with Rice praised for his performances with England over the last week.
The midfielder, who has regularly captained the side this season, has been one of the club’s best performers and formed a strong partnership with Soucek.
Ex-Man Utd boss Moyes believes the signings made by the Hammers during the last 12 months have benefitted the development of the England international.
“The job is to keep West Ham at that level and I want us to bring in players, and I think we’re at the level just now,” the Hammers manager added.
“So Declan’s improvement, I would hope he would look at it as part of the West Ham team, not because of him on his own, that we’ve added other players to try and help Declan improve who will work with Declan.
“We’ve given him a great platform to show exactly what he is. In most of the games he’s been captain of the team and the club, so he’s getting a real opportunity to stand up and step up.
“Then when he came into the England set-up, I think he’s showed exactly what he’s been doing all season really. Maybe it took the last couple of games for people to recognise exactly what Declan’s been, but, let’s be fair, he is still young.
“He’s still going to make some mistakes, he’s still not always going to play well in every game but he’s done a great job for us this season, he’s been terrific.”