West Ham boss David Moyes, has confessed for the first time that his team really misses Declan Rice and says his club let the midfielder go too cheaply.

West Ham have gone 10 matches without keeping a clean sheet following the most recent blot on their record against Freiburg on Thursday night. Rice, the England midfielder who transferred for £105 million over the summer, wasn’t exactly welcomed with open arms when he came back to the London Stadium as an Arsenal player.

But, Moyes feels that Rice’s tidy and organised play was vital to the team. Now, Moyes finds himself wishing they had waited for an offer of around £150 million, reports the Mirror.

The West Ham boss has looked at other players who’ve been sold for mega bucks and believes Rice outshines them all. The Hammers have now conceded in every game since their clash against Brighton on January 2.

Moyes, who’s known for crafting teams with strong defences, said: “It’s not nice. We work hard to make sure we’re defensively sound and I genuinely believe there’s no successful team that hasn’t got the best defence.

“Having that normally gives you a good chance of getting a result somewhere. At the moment we’re not as strong as we should be in some areas.

“We’ve hugely missed Declan Rice. I think Declan covered up a lot of things, was able to tidy things up and help us. He’s probably the best player in England at the moment, I would say.

“If you lose the best player in England out of your team, you’re going to be affected one way or the other – it doesn’t matter how good your signings have been and how well they’ve done. And by the way, a lot of things get talked about how much money we spend, but nobody talks about how much money we’ve taken in as well.

“Brighton have taken a lot of money in, but I think we’re probably right up there with the biggest ones that take money in as well.

“I always said, and I think everyone laughed, that Dec should have been £150million. Other players have been sold for close to that price and I don’t think they’ve touched Declan’s level of performance. The other thing is Declan is English, an England international, and he’s 25 now so he’s still got another six or seven years of his best years still to come.

“So I think in time maybe we’ll look back and think it could have been more. But let’s be fair, I think most people – including the media, everybody – would have said it was a really good price for Declan at the time.”

It means that, while Rice set Arsenal back £105m in the summer, the Gunners may have in fact landed themselves a bargain. Moyes, whose Europa Conference League champions face struggling Burnley on Sunday, is keeping half an eye on the UEFA co-efficients which could offer a fifth English club a Champions League place next season.

But he is still scarred by his last brief encounter with Europe’s elite at Everton 19 years ago. He shared: “Because of the coefficient, I was still thinking with a bit of luck one of the English teams might win the Champions League, and help us to get other teams through.

“Fifth can get you Champions League this year, but remember the last time that happened? I was manager at Everton and Liverpool won it. F****** hell! We ended up drawing Villarreal in the play-off, unbelievable.

“And they went on to lose to Arsenal in the semi-final, with Riquelme and all those for Villarreal. I couldn’t believe the draw. If we can nick a European spot again, it would be fabulous for us.”