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Manchester City Locked In A Three-Way Battle For This English Midfielder: Right Choice For Pep?

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Abhinab Ghosh
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.

In a recent report, The Telegraph (subscription required) revealed that Manchester City are locked a three-way battle for West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice. It is understood that Man City could face competition from Manchester United and Chelsea in the race to sign the England international.

Rice’s Impressive Run Of Form At The London Stadium This Season

Rice is having another excellent campaign with the Hammers after producing a run of dominant displays at the centre of David Moyes’ midfield. The 23-year-old has registered three goals and four assists in 27 appearances for the East London club this season across all fronts.

The London-born midfield ace has anchored the midfield with a lot of conviction as he is averaging 2.3 tackles, 1.7 interceptions, 1.2 clearances, 0.8 shots, 0.8 key passes and 1.6 dribbles per game in the Premier League. He has even been excellent when distributing the ball from midfield based on his pass success rate of 90.4% in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Manchester City (Declan Rice)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 16: Declan Rice of West Ham United enters the pitch through the bubbles prior to the Premier League match between West Ham United and Leeds United at London Stadium on January 16, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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Is Rice The Right Choice For Man City Boss Pep Guardiola?

Rice is a tough-tackling midfielder who can time his challenges well to secure the ball back for his side at the centre of the park. He is usually quick to spot the danger and doesn’t mind clearing his lines when required. The English sensation also doesn’t shy away from putting his body on the line to block a goal-bound shot from the opposition. He is a neat passer of the ball as well and can make a few clever runs towards the opponent’s penalty box.

Rice has even scored and created his fair share of goals in the final third this season. Thus, a midfielder of his skill set will be a brilliant addition to Man City boss Pep Guardiola‘s midfield department.

Rice is good enough to earn a regular starting spot at the Etihad Stadium and could go on to form a solid midfield partnership with Rodri in the coming seasons. The former Chelsea youngster could also serve as an ideal long-term replacement for Fernandinho who is edging closer towards the end of his playing career at Man City. Therefore, Rice would be a decent choice for the Mancunian giants to consider at the end of this campaign.

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