Rio Ferdinand says keeping duo was West Ham’s best summer business ahead of opening game against Manchester City


Rio Ferdinand believes West Ham’s best business this summer was keeping hold of Declan Rice and Issa Diop.

The Hammers spent around £75million on six signings this summer, with more than half of that splashed on striker Sebastien Haller.

But Ferdinand reckons keeping hold their most talented players – something they haven’t always managed to do in the past – was the club’s highlight of the transfer window.

Rice has been courted by a number of clubs but West Ham have kept hold of him


Rice has been courted by a number of clubs but West Ham have kept hold of him

Speaking to talkSPORT at the London Stadium ahead of the our first Premier League commentary of the season, the former Hammer said: “The fans have been up in arms over the last couple of years with the owners but they have put their money where their mouth is. And the biggest thing they have achieved this year is keeping hold of Declan Rice and Issa Diop.

“Me, Frank [Lampard], Jermain Defoe, Glen Johnson … once there was a little bit of form or interest players just left this club before. Hopefully, this is the sign of the strength at the club now.”

West Ham vs Man City LIVE: All the latest from the London Stadium as champions begin title defence

West Ham have a miserable record at home against Man City, with the Premier League champions having netted 17 times in just four visits to the London Stadium.

And Ferdinand believes it could be enough tough afternoon for his old team against Pep Guardiola’s side.

“You can look at it two ways. They could get off to a great start, get a result today and confidence is sky high but also there is more of a chance of it not going well today,” he said.

“You just hope the confidence is not dented too much in the first week of the season. It is important, especially here at West Ham, you get off to a good start.”

Jack Wilshere starts for West Ham, with the former Arsenal man desperate to put his injury troubles behind him this season.

Ferdinand said of the 27-year-old: “Every year we have said about Jack, how good can he be? He has been hit with injuries and has been unfortunate because potentially he has always shown great signs that he could be a fantastic footballer but when you are getting injuries like him you are never allowed to really flourish and prove to people what you can be.

“I’m sure having a good per season is a great start to it but you want to see him have eight, nine, ten games back-to-back.”

Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT, with West Ham vs Manchester City the first of THREE live Premier League commentaries today

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