West Ham United vs Chelsea tactical preview (West Ham's Declan Rice looks dejected in the photo)
Declan Rice of West Ham United looks dejected as Eden Hazard of Chelsea scores his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on April 08, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by Football.London, prodigious West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice has been the subject of interest from Premier League giants like Chelsea and Manchester United. While the Blues are attempting to bring their former academy star back to Stamford Bridge, Manchester United are said to be on the lookout for some defensive-minded midfield reinforcements.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer clarified earlier in the campaign that their Serbian midfield star Nemanja Matic would be staying at Old Trafford beyond the end of the current season, with a new two-year deal said to be in the pipeline as well. Although nothing concrete has been announced yet, it’s possible that Ole is looking at Rice as a potential long-term replacement for the Serbian star.

How Has Declan Rice Made A Name For Himself At West Ham United?

The youngster first broke into the Premier League scene midway through the 17/18 campaign and has since gone on to become one of the most vital cogs in this West Ham United system. Despite being just 21, the Englishman has managed to keep some of the most renowned names in the Premier League out of the first-team, and effectively made one of the Hammers’ defensive midfield positions his own. The former Chelsea youth star played in 90 league appearances already and even had a couple of goals to show for his efforts.

The Englishman was brought into the side out of necessity, but he has gone on to become one of the fan favourites at the London Stadium. The youngster’s development as a first-team player has been rapid while the fact that he tends to make next to no mistakes on the pitch does come as a bonus. Efficient with the ball at his feet, the Englishman also boasts an excellent footballing brain that has helped him across a variety of fixtures in the league over the past couple of seasons.

Why West Ham United Cannot Afford To Sell Declan Rice?

The Hammers are one of the clubs who’ve attempted to break into the top six by spending big over the last two windows. Although there have been some marquee signings along the way, not a single one of them has really managed to hit the ground running. While the recent addition of Jarrod Bowen did seem to be yielding good results before the league was called off, players like Sebastien Haller and Pablo Fornals have struggled to have positive impacts.

Rice has been one of David Moyes’ only mainstays in the side since the former Manchester United manager took over at the London stadium. His interceptions and ability to read opposition runs make him an excellent defensive midfield option for a club like West Ham United.

The youngster is a tireless worker who isn’t afraid to put his body on the line for the sake of the team. Having started all 29 league fixtures prior to the suspension of the season, it would be quite surprising to see the Hammers sell the 21-year-old in the upcoming window for any price.

Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.