Chelsea and Man Utd target Rice tipped to become one of the best in the world

Martin Macdonald
Lampard: Chelsea don’t regret letting Declan Rice leave

Declan Rice could become one of the best central midfield players in the world, in the opinion of Paulo Di Canio.

Over the last two years, Rice has developed into a fine Premier League player and was a key figure in West Ham coming close to earning a spot in the Champions League in the 2020/21 season.

The Hammers would eventually fail to do so, but Rice's performances didn't go unnoticed as throughout the campaign he was continually linked with a transfer to both Manchester United and Chelsea.

A former youth player at Chelsea, Rice was coveted by Frank Lampard when he was in charge at Stamford Bridge, though no transfer ever materialised.

A major reason for that is that West Ham are reportedly looking for a fee of at least £80 million for the England international, as he is viewed as the golden boy at the London Stadium currently.

Rice's stock has risen further due to his performances at the European Championship.

With Jordan Henderson lacking fitness heading into the tournament, Rice and Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips have been trusted with the two central midfield roles, and both have been superb.

The 22-year-old has exuded confidence throughout the competition and was particularly impressive against Germany in the last 16 and against Ukraine in the quarter-final.

Di Canio, a former Chelsea player, believes Rice can become one of the best in the world.

It’s no coincidence that in England you hear about Chelsea
- Di Canio on Rice

What has Di Canio said?

“He’s a fantastic guy because he’s a specialist in this position in midfield," the Italian told talkSPORT.

“They were incredible and made them [England] nearly impossible to beat.

Rice became the third central defender against Ukraine and he sorted out any problems, he’s a very, very good player.

“It’s no coincidence that in England you hear about Chelsea interest.

“To have Rice at this time in his career with the prospects that he can become one of the best in his position with his physical presence. He’s one of the best.”

Also discussing Rice, former Liverpool star John Barnes aired his opinion that Rice would be very well suited to the Reds.

“There have been suggestions that Declan Rice is a target for Liverpool and he would be a good fit for them. Liverpool like central midfield players who work hard," he told BonusCodeBets.

Declan Rice isn’t going to come in and score lots of goals, he’s not going to be creative, he’s not a midfield player like David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne or Ilkay Gundogan, but Liverpool don’t need that.

“The kind of players Liverpool need are players like Rice or Yves Bissouma, hard-working midfield players who get the ball forward, make tackles, win the ball and keep it quite simple.

“He’s similar to Jordan Henderson in that way. So if he wants to come to Liverpool, he has the right profile for them.”