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Go for it Lampard – Chelsea offloading £57m flop signing to capture 21-year-old English ace makes sense

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

Why Chelsea should offload Jorginho to fund a move for Declan Rice

According to The Telegraph (h/t The Sun) Chelsea could listen to offers for Jorginho to fund a move for West Ham starlet Declan Rice, who has been identified as a key defensive target by manager Frank Lampard.

Jorginho was one of the mainstays of Chelsea’s midfield during the recently-concluded 2019-20 Premier League campaign but the Italian could still be deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge amidst speculations of a reunion with Maurizio Sarri at Juventus. (The Telegraph h/t Sun)

West Ham have made it clear that Rice is not going to be put up for sale and while the Hammers have slapped a price tag in excess of £60m on the England international, Chelsea could easily meet that asking price by cashing in on Jorginho. (h/t Metro)

Jorginho’s woes at Chelsea

After enduring a mixed start to life in West London under Sarri following his £57m move to Chelsea from Napoli back in the summer of 2018, Jorginho gradually established himself as a key player under Lampard during the first half of the 2019/20 campaign.

Undroppable to unused: Does Jorginho have a future at Chelsea ...
Jorginho fell out of favour at Chelsea towards the end of the 2019/20 campaign (Getty Images)

The Italian was honoured as the vice-captain of the club but things went downhill for him all of a sudden following the restart, with Lampard benching him for a series of crucial league fixtures. The midfield maestro regained his place in the starting XI following the injury to N’Golo Kante but his performances towards the back end of the season weren’t really up to the mark.

Jorginho’s lack of pace, strength and inability to shield the backline effectively were badly exposed in the 5-3 defeat against Liverpool, while he was equally poor in the shock 3-0 loss away at Sheffield United.

Need for a defensive reshuffle and how Rice fits in

Chelsea shipped as many as 54 goals in the Premier League last season, which is their worst defensive record in the English top-flight since the 1996-97 campaign. The likes of Rudiger, Christensen, Tomori and Zouma all endured mixed campaigns and it’s hardly a surprise to see Lampard looking for defensive reinforcements.

The 21-year-old has largely featured as a shield for the rearguard at West Ham but Lampard is apparently planning to use him as a centre-back.

West Ham United's stance on Declan Rice transfer amid Chelsea ...
Declan Rice has been identified as a top defensive target by Lampard (Getty Images)

The England international has established himself as one of the best young defensive-minded players in the Premier League over the past couple of seasons. At 21, he still has plenty of time to strive for greater heights in his career.

Jorginho out, Rice in – a fair deal for Chelsea?

Jorginho remains one of the best passers of the ball in the Premier League, as evident from his pass success rate of 88.4% in the PL last term but Chelsea have got plenty of options in the middle of the park. 

N’Golo Kante showed that he is more than capable of slotting into a holding midfield role while Mateo Kovacic has also been used in the No.6 position to good effect.

Add to that the young and promising Billy Gilmour, who had some really good games in that position last season, it would be a good idea for Lampard to gradually integrate him into the set-up as a regular.

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Moreover, Jorginho is set to turn 29 later in the year. While he’s still in his prime, it would make complete sense for Chelsea to cash in on him this summer if Lampard doesn’t consider him to be a key part of his plans moving forward.

Rice, on the other hand, has plenty of room to develop and he would certainly fancy doing so in a team with a young English contingent that already boasts of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ross Barkley.

All in all, the 21-year-old looks more than capable of easing Chelsea’s defensive issues, and sacrificing Jorginho for that matter could be a smart move.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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