A 5-0 humiliation at home versus Manchester City to commence the campaign led to many questions and criticism. But the Hammers turned things around sensationally and are now one of the prime contenders to grab a place in Europe next season despite suffering a shocking defeat against Crystal Palace before the international break.
Manuel Pellegrini has assembled a balanced and productive unit in East London, and a few of their stars have been standout so far in their respective roles. Declan Rice, the former Chelsea prodigy, continues to impress in the middle of the park and is rumoured (as cited by the Daily Mirror) to be drawing the attention of Manchester United who are ready to splash £70m in January to secure his services.
The 20-year-old former Republic of Ireland international switched his allegiance to England earlier this year. He has made six appearances so far donning the Three Lions kit and is labelled as one of the promising prospects of the Premier League. Although he has been in the Red Devils’ radar for a while, his recent comments would relieve the West Ham fans for a while.
“I signed a five-year contract with West Ham last year, which will keep me at the club till I’m 24, and for me, this is the best place to be right now. I am playing for a manager who has given me my chance and played me week in week out.”
Told the youngster (as quoted by the Mirror) highlighting how focused he is to making the fans happy and cooled down the speculations regarding his loyalty.
How Rice Has Made His Impact In The Centre Of The Pitch
Rice has mostly been deployed as a defensive midfielder who operates in the hole in between the backline and ‘midfield four’. Not only does he screen the backline by making timely tackles and no-nonsense clearances, but he also converts defence into attacks by carrying the ball out from the deep. He has been key in staging such transitions and Pellegrini, the veteran Chilean, is working tirelessly to evolve his game furthermore in the forthcoming future.
The young sensation has maintained almost 90% passing accuracy and has won 1.6 aerials per game as well as 3.8 tackles and 2.3 interceptions. Rice has averaged 1.1 foul per outing (stats via Whoscored) which is quite low and depicts his discipline considering the significance of his role deep down the midfield.
Manchester United, meanwhile, are in desperate need to bolster themselves following the exit of Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrara. The likes of Fred and Nemanja Matic have failed miserably to slot in and the club, therefore, are eyeing a revamp to get over the ongoing catastrophe.
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