West Ham have little chance of securing a Champions League qualification spot despite Declan Rice’s imminent return from injury.
That is the view of ex-England and Aston Villa forward Gabby Agbonlahor, speaking exclusively to Football Insider as Rice is set to return from his six-game absence.
Irons insider ExWHUEmployee revealed on the West Ham Way podcast the 22-year-old will feature against Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend.
The Hammers fell six points behind fourth-place Chelsea after they lost 1-0 to Everton on Sunday.
“West Ham have a chance because there’s always a chance because any team can lose any game,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“But I felt like the Everton game was one where they needed to grab the three points somehow.
“I don’t feel any blame can be put on the players because they huffed and puffed but Everton were clever with their tactics. Three big brute centre-halves just sniffing out anything for Antonio and there was no space in behind.
“To have Rice back is good for him because of England and he’ll want to be back.
“But West Ham have really missed him in that midfield but maybe it is probably a bit too late to get them into the top-four.
“If you offered them top-six ahead of the season they would have bitten your hands off.
“As much as players they’ll be disappointed if they don’t make the top-four, to reach the Europa League means it will have been an outstanding season.”