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Chelsea and Arsenal Battle for West Ham’s £70 million man Declan Rice

West Ham have had a number of big talents over the years, and the latest star is midfielder Declan Rice. The youngster is in demand, and the East London side will have a battle to keep him for the next season – whenever that is.

Ties with the Blues

Having grown up at the Chelsea academy, the English midfielder was released at the age of 14. Rice has since proved his worth, but will he want to rejoin the club that let him go as a youngster? Chelsea are in a good spot at the moment. Manager Frank Lampard is taking the team in the right direction, and showing that youth are a big part of his plans. A defensive midfielder is number 1 on the young manager’s shopping list though. Its no secret that Declan Rice is great friends with Mason Mount – will this friendship sway the youngster’s decision?

Rice is getting regular game time at West Ham, learning the ropes of the Premier League. But there is only so far a relegation battling squad can teach. To take the next step, Rice may have to look elsewhere. With a breakthrough into the England set up, there could be a danger that he gets overlooked as players from top clubs are competing at a higher level.

Advantage Arsenal?

Another club looking to enter the market for a much needed Central Midfielder is Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal. We wrote previously how the Gunners play under their new manager, and a solid DM would fit the bill.

Former player Paul Merson thinks so too. He told Sky Sports:

‘Chelsea have been linked with him, but I don’t know why Arsenal aren’t looking at Declan Rice,’

‘For me, a good holding midfielder is priceless. Arsenal haven’t really had a disciplined defensive midfielder since Gilberto Silva. Everyone talks about the club never really replacing Patrick Vieira, and of course, but they never replaced Gilberto either.’

Declan Rice Play Style

The central midfield position is key to the Arteta style. Out of possession, the aim is to win the ball back as quickly as possible. As Rice has shown many times in a West Ham and England shirt, he is a great tackler.

Will Declan Rice be wearing red next season?

In fact, the midfielder has made 87 tackles this season, the 4th highest in the Premier League!

He averages 37.8 passes per game, and in the modern game, passing is a skill that all players require. Playing from the back is a technique many clubs have adopted, and having a midfielder that can link defence to attack is a must.

Who will win the race for the youngster’s signature? Will it be a London club, or will the Englishman decide to travel North as the Manchester clubs look to enter the transfer market?

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