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Opinion: Why Chelsea must pay heed to 21-year-old PL star’s comments and re-sign him

Declan Rice (Getty Images)
Declan Rice has been linked with an exit from West Ham (Getty Images)

Why Chelsea should make a move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice while speaking to Copa90 (h/t The Sun) hinted that he would love to reunite with his former Chelsea mate Mason Mount.

The pair had earlier been teammates at the Blues’ academy before Rice left for East London rivals West Ham in 2015, aged 16. Since then, the 21-year-old has gone on to establish himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League, while Mount, who chose to stay back, has had a breakthrough campaign this year for Chelsea.

Declan Rice currently plays for West Ham as a defensive midfielder.
Declan Rice currently plays for West Ham as a defensive midfielder. (Getty Images)

Defensive midfielder Rice has featured in 34 of their 38 games, making him one of the first names on the West Ham team sheet. His defensive abilities in the middle saw West Ham finish 10th in the table despite their inconsistency at the back.

Meanwhile, Rice had already broken into the first-team line-up in the season before by making 26 appearances in the league, where West Ham finished 13th.

His rise in the ranks was clearly understandable as West Ham’s performances improved after he started featuring often. It did not take long, as his standout performances in the midfield caught the eyes of England boss Gareth Southgate.

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice celebrates after scoring. (Getty Images)
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice celebrates after scoring. (Getty Images)

Rice soon earned himself a national team call-up and has been a regular for the Three Lions in the last 18 months. However, his West Ham side is currently fighting for survival in the top-flight, just two spots ahead of the relegation zone in 16th place.

Meanwhile, his former teammate Mount has had an impressive season, that has seen Lampard’s Blues climb to fourth on the table. The 20-year-old attacking midfielder is his side’s highest assist provider in the league with five to his name.

His creativity up front has made him a vital member of Lampard’s line-up this season. Having netted six league goals, Mount has also given a glimpse of his goal-scoring prowess, making him a regular in the side.

Mason Mount (Getty Images)
Mason Mount has been sensational for Chelsea this season. (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, N’Golo Kante having not had the best of campaigns. Kante, who is an obvious first-choice man when fit, has mostly been sidelined this season due to injuries. He has also been linked with an exit, with Real Madrid earmarking him as a target.

The Blues have another deep-lying midfielder in Jorginho. However, Declan Rice can offer something of his own despite the presence of the Italian midfielder.

The likes of youngsters such as Mount, Tammy Abraham, Reece James, and Fikayo Tomori breaking into the first-team line-up with their impressive displays and they have repaid Lampard’s faith by emerging as the side’s best performers.

Chelsea's star midfielder N'Golo Kante has been mostly been in the sidelines this season owing to injuries.
Chelsea’s star midfielder N’Golo Kante has been mostly been in the sidelines this season owing to injuries. (Getty Images)

Declan Rice, who was a part of the club’s youth system, would probably benefit by joining Chelsea again.

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Verdict

Lampard has proven this season that he is willing to offer chances to youngsters. Hence, Chelsea must make a move for Rice, who is not just young but experienced, having played in the Premier League last two seasons.

With the player admitting that he would love a reunion with Mount, the Blues must look to sign Rice if Kante eventually departs the club amidst Real Madrid links.

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