According to a report from the Sun, Chelsea are frontrunners to sign West Ham midfielder Declan Rice in a £70million deal in the summer transfer window.
Declan Rice, 22, has grown into a regular fixture at West Ham since breaking into the senior side in 2017. He played all of 38 league games last season as the Hammers beat the drop under David Moyes. So far this campaign, the defensive midfielder has played 18 league games and captained most of them.
The England international’s consistent displays for the east London club over the last couple of years has also seen Manchester United join Chelsea in the hunt for his signature.
Chelsea must stick with Frank Lampard
Chelsea raised a few eyebrows when they handed an inexperienced Frank Lampard the managerial reins last season. Lampard, who had replaced Maurizio Sarri as the manager, guided the Blues to a fourth-place finish and Champions League qualification, despite the club’s transfer ban.
Following a successful 2019/20 campaign, Lampard was rightly backed in the summer transfer window as Chelsea spent around £226million on new recruits that include Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Edouard Mendy and Kai Havertz, whilst Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr arrived at Stamford Bridge on free transfers.
However, after a decent start to this season, the Blues have lost four in their last six league games. They were totally outplayed by Manchester City in the 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge at the start of the month, leaving Lampard on the brink of the sack.
It’s been a strange season overall and the Chelsea board must not take a decision in haste by sacking Lampard. They backed him in the summer transfer window and must persist with him in the difficult times.
The Blues must replace N’Golo Kante
Despite having a host of talented midfielders at his disposal, Lampard has surprisingly failed to find a balance in his midfield, leaving N’Golo Kante exposed a lot of times this season. Kante does the dirty work for his team but he hasn’t been consistent over the last two campaigns. The diminutive Frenchman will turn 30 in March and Lampard must put plans in place to replace him in the longer run.
Declan Rice could be an answer to Chelsea’s midfield woes
In that regard, Rice, who was released by Chelsea at aged 14, could be the perfect replacement for Kante.
The 22-year-old has established himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League, thus attracting interest from a lot of top clubs. Rice’s consistent displays for West Ham over the last couple of years have seen him bulldoze his way into Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
At 22, the West Ham skipper certainly has his best years ahead of him and seems to have all the right attributes to make the step up to play for a club like Chelsea. Not to forget, Rice can also play as a centre-back when required and going for a leader like him would solve the Blues’ midfield in the long run too.