Declan Rice was released from Chelsea’s academy at the age of 14 and has been on a meteoric rise ever since. He has played every single Premier League match, bar one, for West Ham United over the last two seasons and his plaudits have been on a surge ever since the restart in June.
Since then, Declan Rice has been heavily linked with a move across London and a transfer seems inevitable at some point even if it isn’t in the coming months. This article will look into Declan Rice, where he currently plays, where he would play at Chelsea and the transfer itself.
Declan Rice can play as a lone holding midfielder, the more defensive midfielder in a double pivot and as a centre-back. He is mostly operating in the double pivot for West Ham at the moment alongside Mark Noble or Tomáš Souček. David Moyes’ system is a fluid counter attacking 4-2-3-1 and Rice is vital to it, breaking up play and helping to distribute forward quickly.
Rice is crucial for West Ham in the transitions, as he is always the quickest and best tackler in the pivot, meaning he performs high levels of defensive output. He is currently completing 38 passes a match, which would rise if he was deployed in a more expansive system and as a centre-back. Rice is also a perfect build for an agile defender and could be the answer for Chelsea and England for many years to come.
Position at Chelsea
Even though Rice has played predominantly as a midfielder for West Ham, many journalists and club insiders believe that Frank Lampard sees him as the next John Terry for the club and would use him as a centre-back. Rice’s passing range is seen as a major factor as to why the boss sees him as a centre-back as it suits our style of play.
Pairing him with Kurt Zouma and then Fikayo Tomori is the plan for the blues going forward. but they won’t be afraid to utilise him in midfield if a more complete defender enters the market, Thiago Silva as it so happens. Rice seems to be the exact profile Lampard wants in his number six, so it will be interesting to see where Declan Rice is used long-term if he is signed by Chelsea.
The transfer fee that is being rumoured is around £80 million currently and with Chelsea already spending big on Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, as well as the potential arrivals of Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr and a new goalkeeper, it is highly unlikely that the blues will get a deal done this summer. This means that Declan Rice could be the main target for Chelsea next summer as Thiago Silva can fill Rice’s spot this season. This will give Chelsea more time to offload Antonio Rudiger and potentially Andreas Christensen.
Making the deal a year later could be beneficial to all parties as well, Declan Rice will get another season under his belt playing every minute barring injuries as well as probably featuring at the European championships next summer, giving him more experience. West Ham will get another season out of him, helping them push on for a higher league position and Chelsea may get a cheaper deal on Rice next summer with his contract being cut by a year.
Mason Mount could also be a key influence in getting Declan Rice to come to Chelsea as they have been best friends for years, ever since they met each other at Cobham. All signs point towards Declan Rice becoming a Chelsea player within the next 12 months and he will be an England and Chelsea superstar for a minimum of ten years.