Could West Ham's Declan Rice be the centre-back Chelsea need?

Maurizio Sarri’s influence on Chelsea’s attacking fluency has been clear to see.

The Blues have scored 24 goals in their 10 games, but their defending has shown frailties.

Although Antonio Rudiger has looked solid, David Luiz and Marcos Alonso’s defending has been suspect.

So could a move for West Ham’s Declan Rice be just what Chelsea need to solve those defensive susceptibilities?

(Photo by James Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images)


Rice’s performances this season have been a shining star for West Ham fans this season.

But his natural position is at centre-back and Chelsea have been linked with a move for the Republic of Ireland international.

Rice is comfortable enough on the ball to play in midfield and his defensive resolve has allowed Mark Noble and Pedro Obiang to flourish.

His skill with the ball would therefore fit with Sarri’s philosophy and would provide some well-needed defensive solidness.

(Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images)

And in the inflated transefer market in which football operates, it may not cost too much to acquire the 19-year-old.

Rice’s contract runs out in 2020 and hasn’t shown any indication that he wants to sign a new, long-term extension.

He actually spent seven years in Chelsea’s academy but joined West Ham at the age of 14 after he was released by the Blues.

Therefore, it may take little persuasion to convince Rice to return, and could fill finally John Terry’s boots at Chelsea.