Manchester United legend Patrice Evra has backed Declan Rice to leave West Ham in the near future.
The 21-year-old who can play as either a centre-back or defensive midfielder has established himself as one of the top young talents in the Premier League. Since bring integrated into the Hammers first-team in 2015, he has gone on to make 105 Premier League appearances for the club.
Rice is a first-team regular for the Hammers and even wears the captain’s armband in the absence of veteran Mark Noble. With Noble past his prime, Rice is likely to captain the East Londoners for many games this season.
Rice has also established himself as a regular for the England national team. Since making his debut for the Three Lions against the Czech Republic in March 2019, he has gone on to make 13 appearances for Gareth Southgate’s side.
“Moyes has given him the captaincy, so for me, it symbols the future of West Ham. It’s not easy to put Mark Noble on the bench,” said Evra on Sky Sports (H/T: The Express).
“They know they are going to lose him, because many big clubs are interested in Declan, but right now, he’s the man of West Ham. I’m not surprised.
“I knew this player would never allow his head to get bigger because he’s so focused and so humble, and you can see him smiling – he’s happy, what a joy.
“I’m very pleased for him.”
Chelsea and Rice could be a good match
Let’s face it, it is highly unlikely that Rice will remain with West Ham for the long-term. He needs to take his career to the next level and join a side which can challenge for major silverware. Whilst the Hammers are a decent side, they are unlikely to challenge for honours anytime soon.
Rice is believed to be best friends with Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount. As a development player, he also spent eight years with the Blues before being released in 2014 and subsequently joining West Ham in the same year.
It is probable that Rice’s childhood ambition was to play for the Chelsea first-team at Stamford Bridge. He will be able to achieve that under Frank Lampard who is building the core of his side around young talent.