Reports from England have started to come out saying that Chelsea are attempting to ween Declan Rice from West Ham during this transfer window. While some journalists have said that the clubs are in the midst of negotiations, others have stated outright that Rice has already agreed to move on from his home club to the Blues. It’s unclear as of now where the truth lies in this situation, but it’s safe to say that Roman Abramovich and company are keen to make the move happen.
Rice moving to Chelsea does make some sense. First of all, the 21-year-old actually started his youth academy training at Chelsea way back in 2006, around the time when the Blues were starting their meteoric rise to becoming the best team in Europe. He later left the academy to move to West Ham in 2014, where he graduated the next year and became a first-team player. Since 2015, Rice has made 111 appearances in all competitions and has proven to be the Hammers’ most promising talent. He’s a two-time West Ham Young Player of the Year, the defending West Ham Player of the Year, and now a capped English international.
The second reason Rice is wanted at Stamford Bridge is because Chelsea desperately need help in the defensive midfield area. Similar to how Liverpool needed help in that same area this summer, so they brought in Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich, Chelsea need someone who can serve as a link in the chain between the defense and the attack. According to WhoScored.com, Rice’s best strengths on the pitch are his tackling, ball interception, and concentration, all of which are key to creating a strong defensive midfielder. Furthermore, TransferMarkt lists only Jorginho as Chelsea’s only full-time DM at the moment, and he’s been a bit hit or miss since joining the club in 2018.
It’s safe to say that because of his mammoth responsibilities at West Ham, it’ll take a lot of money for the club to agree to any terms. However, if this summer window is any indication, Chelsea should be able to find the number that West Ham’s owners are looking for. Earlier today, Chelsea completed the signing of Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. The 28-year-old signed a five-year contract to stay at Stamford Bridge, and he could fight struggling keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga for the starting slot. He joins Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Malang Sarr, Thiago Silva, and Kai Havertz as the club’s seventh first-team acquisition this summer.
We will continue to monitor this transfer situation and report anything definitive if and when it happens.
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Featured Image – The Athletic