By Alan Hutton

23rd Nov, 2021 | 6:09pm

Pundit verdict on Moyes handing Rice new West Ham role after crushing injury update

Alan Hutton has urged David Moyes to resist the temptation to play Declan Rice as a central defender after Angelo Ogbonna’s crushing injury blow at West Ham.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Scotland defender admitted his heart bleeds for the 33-year-old after his serious setback.

West Ham confirmed earlier this month Ogbonna suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury against Liverpool and as revealed on Instagram, the defender underwent surgery on the issue last week.

Speaking at his press conference, as quoted by Sky Sports, David Moyes suggested Ogbonna would be out for at least nine months.

Hutton bemoaned the blow and suggested Craig Dawson should get a run of games in the starting XI.

Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “You really feel for him. You don’t want to see anyone get injured, never mind that one.

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“That’s probably one of the worst ones you can do in football. He’s going to be out for the best part of a year. It’s a shame.

“I thought Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma were going to build a good partnership. That was was the whole reason for Zouma to come in, to do that, and it was working well.

“Declan Rice, some people have said moving forward centre-back might be his best position.

“I don’t agree. I think that defensive midfield role where he can also burst forward, that’s his best position.

“You’d take a lot of his game away playing him at centre-half, even though he can fill in for small periods of time.

“I think Dawson is the one for now.”

Rice broke through into the West Ham starting XI playing as a centre-half.

However, he moved into midfield for the 2018/19 season and has become a mainstay for club and country.

In other news, West Ham tipped to make “massive” Declan Rice statement after “brilliant development”.