EXCLUSIVE

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini needs to sort out the issue he has surrounding his midfield options at the London Stadium, according to Danny Mills.

The former Manchester City and England defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that Declan Rice is a certainty to start in the centre of the pitch but that neither Mark Noble nor Jack Wilshere can be relied upon to play week after week.

Wilshere has a long history of injury problems throughout his career, both minor and major, while Noble has also been in and out of the side in recent seasons.

Mills insists that both players need their playing time to be managed by Pellegrini and that it causes a problem for the Irons in the middle of the park moving forward.

Mills told Football Insider: “They’ve got to sort out their midfield issue – Declan Rice is going to play one of those midfield roles, then can you play Mark Noble week in, week out? Probably not.

“He’s in the twilight of his career, can he play week in, week out to the high standards that he’s set? It’s going to be tough. You’ve then got Jack Wilshere, again, cannot play week in, week out.

“He has to be managed, especially with his injury record. Between those two, if it’s a defensive issue needed with Mark Noble, more attacking, play Wilshere.”

Noble was a mainstay for the Hammers last season, playing 32 times across all competitions, although he only returned to the side in their third game of the season after an injury problem.

Wilshere meanwhile only managed to play eight times in his first season at the London Stadium, another long-term injury issue keeping him on the sidelines, while he has played twice in the league this campaign.

In other West Ham news, Football Insider can exclusively reveal that the Irons have been dealt a shattering blow.