Declan Rice wrote a heartfelt message to West Ham fans following his return to the London Stadium.

What sort of reception the Hammer’s former captain would receive was somewhat uncertain. Fans have been debating since he signed for Arsenal whether he should be applauded, booed or treated like any other opponent.

Well, when he got substituted on, the applause certainly drowned out the boos. While he did receive some friendly jeers, he was clearly delighted to have been received pretty positively and he took to Instagram to write a message to the East London faithful to thank them for this.

“Despite the result,” he began. “Loved being back at the stadium and seeing so many familiar faces. Thank you West Ham fans for the reception. Will be forever grateful to all of you. Wish you nothing but the best for the rest of the season. See you soon!”

Obviously, the message was not needed but it just goes to show what a classy man he really is. The midfielder clearly has love for the club as well as being thankful for the opportunities we gave him. Him joining another London club was always going to cause controversy but, in all fairness, he has been nothing but respectful towards West Ham.

It is also worth noting that he went and clapped all four stands after the game, in which he got an applause back. 

You can argue that if he loved the club so much then he would have stayed or gone to a non-London club and you would certainly have a point. However, the way he has acted since leaving has shown that he truly does care about his previous club and there is nothing he could have done better to prove it.

By Charlie Bass