West Ham

Declan Rice needed a break at West Ham and his knee injury has come at the perfect time, according to Gabby Agbonlahor.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-England and Aston Villa striker insisted the Irons showed on Monday night they can coper without the 22-year-old who has captained the side for the majority of the season.

Rice had been an ever-present for David Moyes’ side before the 3-2 win over Wolves at Molineux.

The England international picked up the injury on international duty last week but played through the pain against Poland.

The Guardian report a best-case scenario will see Rice sidelined for three weeks.

“You’re going to get one injury a season,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

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“Jack Grealish has got one, Declan Rice has got one.

“What especially England will be happy about is that these injuries are coming now and not in four weeks time where it’s towards the end of the season.

“Maybe it’s what Declan Rice needed – a little break. He’s played a lot of football. Maybe this injury has come at a good time where he can take it to rest his legs, come back in a months time, play the last few games for West Ham and be fresh for England and the Euros.

“It’s not a bad thing, for me.

“They showed against Wolves they can cope without him as well. I thought Mark Noble did very well.”

Monday night’s result lifted West Ham back into the top four.

They are a point clear of Chelsea in fifth with eight games left to play this season.

In other news, a top pundit has been left wowed as West Ham plot a £30million next-level raid.