By Football Insider speaking to Kevin Campbell

24th Mar, 2020 | 12:00pm

'I'm sure...' - Exclusive: Bruce suggests West Ham plotting to replace 1st-team favourite

Alex Bruce claims that West Ham are looking to replace club captain Mark Noble if and when the summer transfer window opens.

The former Premier League defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists that the 32-year-old has been an “excellent servant” to the Irons but that his time in the middle is coming to an end.

Noble has featured in all but three of the Hammers’ Premier League games this season with the club in a battle against relegation.

Bruce insists that manager David Moyes needs to strengthen all over the pitch but that a replacement for their midfield talisman will be high on the shopping list.

Bruce told Football Insider: “West Ham need to strengthen their team and have a core. They’ve been a little inconsistent, chopping and changing managers, the new stadium, constant turnaround of players.

“The sooner, the better they can build a settled team, it’ll be beneficial for West Ham for sure. 

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“I think they need lots, I think they need to strengthen all over the pitch. I think they need to strengthen in the middle of the pitch, Mark Noble’s been an excellent servant for West Ham but unfortunately you’re going to have to look at replacing him. 

“It’s a big job for them to do that and I’m sure it’s one that they’re looking to do.”

Noble is just five appearances away from 500 games for the Hammers having come through the youth system in east London.

The Hammers also have Declan Rice, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere and January signing Tomas Soucek as midfielders on their books.

In other West Ham news, Darren Bent has been left baffled as the club set sights on a dazzling player at title chasers.