West Ham boss David Moyes has joked that he would like Chelsea starlet Billy Gilmour in exchange for Hammers midfielder Declan Rice, with rumours linking the latter with a move to Stamford Bridge.
Rice was part of Chelsea’s academy, eventually joining London rivals West Ham in 2014. The coveted midfielder has made a name for himself with the Hammers following two seasons of solid performances, even earning seven caps for England along the way.
Meanwhile, 18-year-old Gilmour has been thoroughly impressive when he’s been infrequently called upon by Frank Lampard this season, sparkling in particular in a 2-0 win against world champions Liverpool in the FA Cup in early March.
Gilmour’s impressive performances have not gone unnoticed by Moyes, who has heaped praise on the youngster, as well as claiming the midfielder would be the first man he would sign if he had the choice of any player.
Speaking on BBC Scotland’s Scottish Football Podcast, Moyes said: “The one who, if I can sign tomorrow, would be Billy Gimour after what I’ve seen from his opening performances
“He’s looked like a season pro, he’s looked like someone who is hungry, he looks as if he’s in love with the game. I’m gonna say he’s typical of what my memories are of what Scottish players were like going back many, many years.”
He added: “There were always good players and really talented football players as well and at the moment, in the short period I’ve seen him, Billy Gilmour has looked that all day long and I hope so because we need to start getting a Scottish national team which gives us some hope.”
Moyes is also well aware of rumours linking Rice with his former club Chelsea, but has made light of such speculation by insisting he would want Gilmour in return at West Ham.
“I was laughing because I keep getting told about Chelsea wanting Declan Rice,” he joked. “And I thought I might just decide I want Billy Gilmour then and see how it goes!’”
Lampard is in the market to bolster his midfield this summer and Rice may be the perfect man for the job, while the youngster’s close friendship with Mason Mount could be a useful bargaining chip.
However, Moyes will evidently not make negotiations easy for the the Hammers’ London rivals.