Hammers boss David Moyes has lifted the lid on who could be a future West Ham captain in Declan Rice’s absence.
It marked the end of an era when West Ham captain Mark Noble retired in May.
Noble brought the curtain down on his near two decade Hammers career at the end of last season amid emotional scenes.
Rice has picked up the baton as West Ham’s new overall club captain proper following Noble’s departure.
Moyes revealed earlier in the summer that elder statesmen Aaron Cresswell, Angelo Ogbonna and Lukasz Fabianski will act as vice-captains for Rice.
But with Cresswell and Ogbonna no longer guaranteed starters and Fabianski entering a transitional period where he will eventually be succeeded by Alphonse Areola, it begs the question who will skipper West Ham in Rice’s stead.
Now Moyes has lifted the lid on who could be a future West Ham captain in Rice’s absence.
Most West Ham fans knew very little about Thilo Kehrer when the club moved to sign the defender from PSG for £10m in the summer.
But he has quickly become a firm fan favourite at the London Stadium and is already looking like one of the bargains of the season, not just for West Ham, but across the Premier League.
Moyes recently raved about what Kehrer has brought to West Ham both on and off the pitch, revealing the German has immediately emerged as one of the team’s big leaders in the changing room.
And now Moyes has suggested that, plus his plentiful experience, make him a potential future West Ham captain when Rice is not playing.
“I have seen him (Rice) stand back and be quiet and listen and think: ‘I need to know what to do and say here’,” Moyes said ahead of the game against Fulham.
“He is having to take responsibility. He is 23 at the moment. He is being asked to take on big roles. At the moment we may have people who are more experienced who could do the captaincy job.
“Thilo has been great behind the scenes with his leadership. He is 25, more experienced. But Declan is already responding. He has got to be part of Brazilian internationals, German internationals, Italian internationals.
“He has to show he can do that. He is young and the differences he will have at 27 as opposed to 23 will be day and night. It happens with individuals, we have all been young once and we get more mature and experienced and Dec will certainly be that by 27/28.”
Kehrer showed his leadership qualities and just how comfortable he already feels at West Ham when he bellowed at fans to make more noise at the end of the win over Wolves last week.
You can watch the video of that brilliant moment here.