Lampard says 22-year-old Chelsea reportedly want is 'one of the best' in Europe
Frank Lampard believes that his former Chelsea target, Declan Rice, is among the finest defensive midfielders in world football.
Speaking to the BBC Football Daily podcast, Lampard lauded the 22-year-old for his standing within the game’s very best.
Rice has grown in status and stature in a very short space of time, meaning his stock is sky high.
He helped the Hammers to Europa League qualification last term, missing just six Premier League games in the process.
Chelsea keeping track
His next mission is aiding England to European Championship glory.
Gareth Southgate started the midfielder – who is largely regarded as one of his undroppable figures – in all three group games.
Chelsea have not turned a blind eye to his performances, as they continue to track Rice in the transfer market.
Lampard loves Rice
The ex-Blues manager delivered his updated verdict on England’s London born star.
“In my opinion, Declan Rice going into the tournament is one of the best defensive midfielders in the tournament and in Europe, for the performances he put in for West Ham and his country so far,” said Lampard.
“Albeit we still have to remember he is still a pretty young lad.
“Declan Rice has been outstanding all year.”
Look across the CDM landscape, and Rice is certainly in good company.
Closer to home, the Premier League has a host of top disrupters, including Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante, Fabinho of Liverpool, Rodri from Manchester City, and Leicester City’s Wilfrid N’Didi.
Further afield, La Liga ace’s Casemiro and Sergio Busquets have top pedigree, as does Joshua Kimmich with Bayern Munich.
But none are as young or up-and-coming as Rice, whose future looks incredibly bright.
And his career might already be about to come full circle.
Eurosport says he is considering leaving West Ham, amid interest from Chelsea and other clubs.