Manchester United Favourites To Sign This West Ham United Midfielder: Should Solskjaer Make A Move?

According to the recent odds listed by United Kingdom bookmakers Sky Bet (via Manchester Evening News), Manchester United are the favourites to secure the services of Declan Rice from West Ham United during the summer transfer period. Sky Bet have priced the Red Devils as 3/1 favourites to win the race to recruit the Hammers talent in this offseason.

Declan Rice’s Rapid Emergence In The Premier League

Rice is a Chelsea youth product who joined West Ham in the summer of 2013. He worked his socks off to come up the club’s youth ranks and feature for Manuel Pellegrini’s senior side at the start of this season.

The 20-year-old has enjoyed a brilliant debut campaign with the Hammers after putting in some matured displays at the heart of Pellegrini’s midfield. He has featured in a total of 38 matches for West Ham this term, registering two goals while creating one assist across all competitions. More importantly, the England international has made an average of 2.9 tackles, 1.5 interceptions and 1.6 clearances per match which goes prove how essential he has been for the Hammers during the recently concluded Premier League campaign (Stats via Whoscored).

His dominant performances in midfield have earned him two international caps for the Three Lions. Hence, making a switch to Old Trafford could help Rice establish himself as a regular feature in Gareth Southgate’s England squad in the coming years.

What Does The London-born Prospect Offer On The Pitch?

Rice has a good football brain which enables him to read the game well and make some crucial interceptions for his side in midfield. He is also a very reliable defender at the back even though Pellegrini has preferred to use him in a deep-lying defensive midfield role, a position where Rice has flourished during this season.

The acquisition of a midfielder of Rice’s potential will undoubtedly improve Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s defensive options at the Theatre of Dreams. Man United have often lacked some steel in their midfield this season with Nemanja Matic struggling to find consistency with his performances on the field. Thus, Rice could prove to be an ideal solution to their midfield problems heading into the new campaign.

Should Man United Orchestrate A Move For Rice?

However, he won’t add any creativity at the centre of the park so one can argue whether Solskjaer can play him alongside Matic and go with two defensive midfielders next season. Solskjaer should only bring the English defensive ace to Old Trafford if he intends to play him every week. Otherwise, it would be wise for the Norwegian manager to retain Matic and invest in strengthening some of the other areas of his squad.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.