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Declan Rice facing big test against the player David Moyes wanted to partner him at West Ham

Declan Rice is facing a big test against the player David Moyes wanted to partner him in central midfield at West Ham.

West Ham’s talisman has been tipped to start in England’s friendly against Ivory Coast at Wembley on Tuesday night.

The midfielder has been lauded for changing the game in England’s favour when came on with the score at 1-1 against Switzerland at the weekend. England won 2-1 and Rice was completely dominant.

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Gareth Southgate credited the West Ham star for changing the game with his mature performance. And he also said he sees him as the successor to Harry Kane as England captain.

Well now Rice is facing a big test against the player Hammers boss Moyes wanted to partner him at West Ham.

Moyes has been linked with a host of central midfielders since his return to West Ham over two years ago.

And one of the first was AC Milan star Franck Kessie.

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Kessie has very much been on Moyes’s radar since the Scot’s return to West Ham – as previously reported by the likes of The Evening Standard and The Mirror and Milan Live.

Kessie is a stocky, powerful box-to-box player who has proved he knows where the goal is too.

The midfield ace’s contract at Milan is up this summer and his refusal to sign a new deal has seen the Ivory Coast star linked with a host of clubs including West Ham.

Kessie is one of the most attractive free transfers on the summer market.

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Given Moyes has been tracking Kessie for so long and desperately needs a host of new additions in the next window, getting the 25-year-old on a free would have been amazing business for West Ham.

The powerful all-action ace is perfect for the Premier League. A Kessie, Rice and Tomas Soucek central midfield would have been sensational.

But Moyes’s hopes of partnering Rice with Kessie in the heart of West Ham’s midfield were dashed last week after Barcelona sealed a deal instead.

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As widely reported, Kessie’s future will be with Barcelona – the side West Ham could face in the Europa League semi-finals.

The alleged Moyes target has signed a four-year deal with Barca according to the likes of The Guardian.

Now Rice faces a big test against the player Moyes wanted to partner him with at West Ham when England play Ivory Coast on Tuesday night.

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It promises to be some battle. And the West Ham man can really show his class by dominating one of the most highly rated central midfielders in Europe.

Rice will also likely face a familiar face in the shape of West Ham’s record £45m signing Sebastien Haller, who should start up front for the visitors.

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