According to Football.London, former West Ham United defender Glen Johnson has reportedly tipped current captain Declan Rice to join Chelsea amid transfer interest from the Blues. It is understood that the England international has caught the eye of several Premier League clubs, including Chelsea and Manchester United, during his campaign with the England national team in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Rice’s Impressive Run With England In The World Cup
Declan Rice had a slow start to the 2022/23 campaign with West Ham United but soon returned to form after producing some dominant displays in the central areas of the field before the World Cup break. He took his superb form into the World Cup as he produced some influential displays in the middle of the park being a guaranteed starter for Gareth Southgate’s side.
The Thames-born sensation performed exceptionally, being reliable and consistent in the holding midfield positions after averaging 1.2 tackles, 2.2 interceptions and 1.0 clearances over five appearances for England in the World Cup. He was also tidy with his ball distribution after completing 94.3% of his attempted passes in the greatest competition held in the world of football (stats via whoscored).
Will Rice Make An Exit From West Ham United In The January Transfer Window?
Rice remains a key player for David Moyes in the midfield department as he adds more quality and brings stability to the central areas. He excels at holding on to the ball and can make brilliant plays by making a few decisive passes down the middle. Moyes definitely does not want to lose a player of such calibre especially because it would be difficult to replace him in the starting XI although selling him would inject more funds into the transfer budget.
However, the England skipper has made it known that he would like to play in the UEFA Champions League next season and that is certainly not possible for the Hammers as they currently languish in the 15th position of the Premier League table. So an exit would make sense for Rice amid interest from several clubs including those who have a shot at qualifying for the Champions League at the end of this season.
When asked to Johnson whether Rice would make an exit in the upcoming transfer window and if he could possibly join Chelsea, the former West Ham defender said:
“I don’t want him to but he needs to move if he wants to kick on in his career”.”I think he will end up at Chelsea because he has a soft spot for the club and he knows a number of the lads there. However, you can never know where he will go because he will have a lot of options.”
Despite all the rumours, it is safe to say that West Ham boss David Moyes would definitely keep hold of him until next summer as they remain in a strong bargaining position and would reap the most benefit if they sell him at the end of the season.