According to a recent report by The Times (Paid Subscription Required), Premier League outfit West Ham United are said to value Chelsea target Declan Rice at around the £80m mark. The report suggests that the Blues have been keen to bring their former academy graduate back to Stamford Bridge this summer, as he has the versatility required to operate along a variety of roles in the team. Even though Chelsea released the Englishman as a teenager, it has been claimed in the report that the Hammers aren’t willing to let their man take the easy way out of the London Stadium.
Although the report has clarified that Chelsea are interested in West Ham United’s Declan Rice, whether or not Lampard can get this deal over the line remains to be seen. The Hammers are said to have already rejected a player-exchange approach from the Blues, in a deal which would’ve seen both Michy Batshuayi and Ross Barkley heading in the opposite direction. Lampard’s desire to reign in a new era in the future of Chelsea football club has been no secret, and along with their pursuit of German sensation Kai Havertz, their interest in Rice seems to have taken a step up over recent weeks as well.
What Makes Declan Rice An Attractive Option For Chelsea?
One of the biggest points of attraction for Chelsea about Declan Rice will be the fact that he has spent a majority of his younger days in the Chelsea academy, playing alongside key first-team names likes Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham.
More importantly, though, the Englishman’s ability to operate across various positions will be a massive selling point from the Blues’ perspective as well. Rice is capable of sitting in front of the back-line and acting as the midfield anchor, while he has also got the quality required to drop in and do a job at centre-half.
A tall and lanky figure, Rice boasts good upper body strength, as well as general balance when in possession of the ball. Not only is he a good ball-carrier, but he has also got the vision and presence of mind required to make the right decision across a variety of situations. The former Chelsea man tends to position himself extremely well in the defensive phase, while he offers a goal threat during set-piece situations as well. Even with all this said, the fact that he can be used as a utility player in any situation should be the biggest attraction from a Chelsea point-of-view.
What Purpose Would Rice Fulfil Upon A Move To Chelsea?
The Blues’ search for new central defenders has been no secret, and Rice has emerged as one of the prime candidates for the role. Having started his career as a centre-half, the youngster is more than capable of operating in the position, and could hence be well-suited to the youthful roster that Frank Lampard is building at Chelsea. Moreover, towards the latter stages of last season, the London club found themselves extremely stretched in terms of squad depth. Having a player of Rice’s quality in the arsenal would eradicate a degree of the pressure off the gaffer’s head as well, as team selection is amongst the hardest duties of being a manager.
Chelsea Are Interested In West Ham United’s Declan Rice: Should Lampard Sign Him?
One thing that can be said about this Chelsea side is that they boast what is arguably the best roster of midfielders in the entirety of the Premier League. N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho are just some of the options available to Lampard, which means that finding a spot for Rice in the middle of the park won’t be an easy task. With that said though, central defence has been an area of concern right from the opening weekend of last season. Rice has proven in the past that he has got what it takes to perform up to the same massive standards when deployed at centre-half as well, which means that he could actually end up being a good option at the back for the London club.
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