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David Moyes expects Declan Rice to be “welcomed with open arms” when he returns to West Ham with Arsenal on Wednesday.
England midfielder Rice will face his old club for the first time since joining the Gunners for £105million in the summer when the teams meet in the Carabao Cup.
The 24-year-old made 245 appearances for West Ham and captained them to victory in the Europa Conference League, the club’s first silverware in 43 years.
The Hammers fans are not exactly renowned for giving former players a warm welcome upon their return with another club, but boss Moyes believes Rice will get the recognition he deserves when he runs out at the London Stadium.
“You’ve got to remember this is the man who lifted this club’s first European trophy in more than 50 years,” said Moyes.
“He should be welcomed back with open arms. We’re all looking forward to seeing him again.
“He was a brilliant member of the team. He led the team brilliantly well. He conducted himself impeccably as a West Ham captain and as a player.
“The most important thing was that he gave 100 per cent in every game, even though we sort of knew he probably wasn’t going to stay at West Ham. So all credit to him. He conducted himself brilliantly well and for that alone he deserves to be cheered.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing Dec again. I’ve not seen him since he left. I don’t know if I want him to play, but I hope he’s there.”
Moyes is likely to include Lucas Paqueta and Edson Alvarez against Arsenal as both are suspended for Saturday’s Premier League trip to Brentford after collecting five bookings.
Former Arsenal players Lukasz Fabianski and Konstantinos Mavropanos will also be involved along with Emerson Palmieri, who is back from a ban.
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