Declan Rice ‘delighted’ West Ham kept Craig Dawson after key Europa Conference League goal

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Craig Dawson was close to leaving West Ham this summer  (AFP via Getty Images)
Craig Dawson was close to leaving West Ham this summer (AFP via Getty Images)

Declan Rice expressed his delight for Craig Dawson after the defender scored what proved to be the winning goal in West Ham’s Europa Conference League win over Silkeborg.

Amid an injury-hit campaign for a figure who emerged as a cult-hero amongst the club’s support last season, Dawson was open to leaving West Ham during the summer transfer window in an effort to move closer to his family.

Wolves were eager to sign the 32-year-old and a deal worth an initial £4m was agreed, but David Moyes’ side could not sign the replacement required to sanction his exit.

After making his return to action last week against FCSB, Dawson scored a header on the stroke of half-time to put West Ham 3-1 up in Denmark, proving the difference when the home side bagged a late reply to set-up a nervy finish.

Speaking to BT Sport after the game, West Ham captain Rice said: “I’m happy for Daws.

“Obviously [Gianluca] Scamacca’s was a great goal but for Daws to score that, obviously he’s had a tough couple of months but we’re delighted he’s with us and obviously the fans love him as well.”