According to Daily Mail (via Talksport), Chelsea are interested in the services of West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice.
Chelsea could face stiff competition from Tottenham Hotspur who are also reportedly interested in Rice while West Ham themselves are trying to tie him down to a long-term contract.
Declan Rice: Player profile and stats
Declan Rice started at the Chelsea youth academy before moving to West Ham United in 2013 as a 14-year-old. He made his breakthrough last season, making 34 appearances for the club in all competitions, 26 of which came in the Premier League.
This season, however, Rice has become an indispensable part in the West Ham setup, featuring in eight of the 11 Premier League games so far. He has been utilised as a holding midfielder by Manuel Pellegrini, with his excellent tackling prowess helping him thrive as a number six.
Indeed, Rice has averaged almost four tackles per game this season. His tackle success rate of 68% is better than any other West Ham midfielder.
Rice’s ball-distribution is also impressive, having attained a pass accuracy of 85%, which is only bettered by Issa Diop (at least five games played).
Should Chelsea go for Declan Rice?
Rice is certainly an exciting choice from Chelsea’s perspective given the fact that the Irish international has performed particularly well this season.
That being said, the Blues already have a stacked midfield, boasting the likes of Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek as the s called fringe players.
Although Rice’s robust tackling and work-ethic could add an extra dimension to the Chelsea midfield as they most of their midfielders are more focused on the technical side of the game, it also makes him a somewhat similar player as N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater.
Drinkwater has been deemed surplus to the requirements by Maurizio Sarri, however. The 28-year-old is yet to make an appearance this season and is likely to be sold in the upcoming January transfer window.
Therefore, it’s very plausible that Declan Rice could also suffer the same fate and thus, he might not actually be the ideal option for Chelsea as they aim to boost their squad depth this January.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored