Former Celtic star Frank McAvennie has backed Abderdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson to potentially replace Declan Rice at West Ham.

Rice has established himself as one of the top defensive midfielders in the Premier League, even captaining the Hammers in the absence of veteran Mark Noble.

West Ham looks unlikely to win major silverware anytime soon, and so the probability is high that the 21-year-old Rice will not be sticking around with the club for the long-term.

He has already been linked with Manchester United and is also bound to attract interest from other major clubs from Europe’s top five leagues.

“I do not want Declan to leave but I would not be annoyed if Lewis Ferguson took his place. I would love to see him at West Ham because he is a fantastic player,” said McAvennie to Football.Insider.

“I do not want Declan Rice to leave but if he was I think Ferguson would be the ideal replacement for him. There has been so much talk about Declan and if he was to go I think the boy Ferguson is ready for the Premier League.

“He is only young and he is a good, tidy player. It is an eye-opener going to England but it would only benefit him.”

West Ham must start identifying a replacement for Rice to create an easier transition for the club once he does leave.

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