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Paul Ince speaks out on ‘perfect’ Manchester United signing and Donny van de Beek’s future


Paul Ince is a big fan of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice (Picture: Getty)

Paul Ince says West Ham and England star Declan Rice would have been the ‘perfect’ signing for Manchester United in the summer.

Rice broke into West Ham’s first-team back in 2015 after being released by Chelsea’s academy and has since established himself as one of the most-sought after midfielders in Premier League football.

A string of outstanding performances at Euro 2020 only amplified speculation Rice could be set for a big-money move before the transfer deadline but the 22-year-old stayed put for another year, with the Hammers competing in Europe for the first time since the 2016/17 season.

United – one of the many teams credited with an interest in Rice – travel to east London to face West Ham on Sunday afternoon and it will be another opportunity for the England international to prove his quality on the big stage.

Ince believes Rice has ‘gone up another gear’ over the last 12 months and feels United will need to match the opposition in midfield if they are to come away from the London Stadium with all three points.

‘David Moyes didn’t get long enough at all [at Manchester United] and what he’s showing is what a very good manager that he is. He’s got West Ham up and playing,’ Ince told The United Stand.

‘They play a different style and you know what you’re going to get with West Ham. They defend deep, they get back in their shape and they play from there.

‘With Antonio not playing, it might dilute them a bit as far as that’s concerned. But midfield, Declan Rice I thought was outstanding in the Euros. He looks like he’s stepped up a gear, gone up another gear this year. He’s been brilliant in midfield.

‘There was rumours we were going to try and sign him at Manchester United and he’d have been perfect.

Declan Rice and West Ham take on second-placed Manchester United this weekend (Picture: Getty)

‘I’ve always stated that, and Sir Alex Ferguson has always said that, if you win the midfield battle, nine times out of ten you’re going to win the game because you control it and get more of the ball.

‘It’s going to be an aggressive game in there, it’s not going to be a passing game. [Tomas] Soucek is 6 ft 4 in and he likes to put a foot in, so does Declan Rice.

‘They’ve got plenty of legs and we’re going to have to match them.’

Van de Beek was taken off at half-time versus Young Boys (Picture: Getty)

Donny van de Beek was given a rare chance to put his hand up for selection with a starting spot in United’s Champions League group-stage clash with Young Boys on Tuesday evening.

But the Dutchman’s desperate struggles continued as he was hauled off at halt-time as the Red Devils suffered a shock 2-1 defeat and Ince expects him to leave in the January transfer window.

Asked whether Van de Beek is part of Solskjaer’s plans for the future, Ince replied: ‘Absolutely no chance!

‘He’s tried to make the player happy [by playing him].

It’s always tough when you don’t play to come and make an impression on your first start and to sub him off at half-time… what does it say to us, what does it say to the fans, what does it say to Donny? If I can’t get a full game against Young Boys, ten men or no ten men, then it’s time for me to go.

‘There’s nothing Ole could say that would persuade me that my future is at Manchester United. I wish it was because it’s the biggest club in the world but he needs to play football.

‘[Scott] McTominay is back now, [Nemanja] Matic – who I love – is back, he’s got Fred. He’s never not going to play [Bruno] Fernandes or [Paul] Pogba, he’s got [Jesse] Lingard who can play in that role so the signs are there and I expect him to be gone in January.

‘Whether it’s a loan… they won’t be getting the money back that they paid for him.

‘You feel sorry for him because he looks like a nice lad, looks like he wants to do well, looks like the ultimate professional and he must know now that the ‘writing is on the wall, unfortunately.’


MORE : Dimitar Berbatov expects Manchester United to sell ‘lost’ Donny van de Beek and dismisses calls to sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer


MORE : Villarreal boss Unai Emery gives his verdict on Manchester United’s shock defeat to Young Boys ahead of Old Trafford visit





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