Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano believes that Chelsea could make a move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice in the January transfer window, as per The Mirror.
The Blues have been long linked with the 21-year-old who has established himself as one of the most highly-rated young defensive midfielders in European football. Rice is so highly rated at West Ham that he is entrusted with the captaincy duties when Mark Noble is absent.
Since bursting onto the West Ham first-team scene in 2015, Rice has gone on to make more than 100 Premier League appearances and has since also worked his way into the England team. He will be of high probability to gain selection to the England squad which will compete at the rescheduled European Championships.
Embed from Getty Images
Rice will have a strong connection to Chelsea
Rice is a fan favourite at the London Stadium and should think carefully about his next move. He is virtually assured of regular game time at West Ham as well as having a key leadership role within the side. He will need to make a move at some point to take his career to the next level but does not need to rush it.
He will feel connected to Chelsea as he is a product of the Blues youth development system and was released by the club in 2014, a year after he turned professional. Chelsea’s loss ended up being West Ham’s gain, though it is likely that Rice had dreams of playing for the Blues first-team as a youngster.
Frank Lampard is believed to be a keen admirer of Rice and is also an admirer of young talent. Rice could be a good addition at Stamford Bridge, particularly under the management of Lampard. Chelsea must act fast though as a player like Rice is likely to attract interest from a number of clubs.
Chelsea are interested in signing West Ham defender Issa Diop, according to reports. The Blues remain in the hunt for a top four finish this season but will need to make reinforcements at the end of the season if they want to challenge for major silverware in the future. Frank Lampard is working with a talented young side at the moment but he will need to make reinforcements to the squad if he wants to transform it into one of the best in the league and in Europe.
Embed from Getty Images
Diop has been one of the Hammers best players for a while
The 23-year-old Diop joined the Hammers from Toulouse during the summer of 2018 and has been one of the club’s best players ever since. The club last struggled last season under the guidance of Manuel Pellegrini but the 23-year-old was one of its most consistent performers. One could even argue that he is too good to be playing for the East Londoners who are very inconsistent.
With a big physique, one of Diop’s strengths is that he is often able to out-muscle opposition attackers. He has good tackling and interception skills and could add good depth to Chelsea’s defensive options, which include Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma. Tomori and Zouma started the season as Chelsea’s first choice defensive partnership. Christensen is linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge whilst Rudiger has spent a large portion of the season out injured.
Whilst Tomori is developing into a fine talent, he is still inexperienced and Zouma tends to blow hot and cold in terms of his performances. Adding Diop to the Chelsea roster would be a smart move by Lampard and the player may even be available for a bargain fee next summer if West Ham do end up getting relegated.
Embed from Getty Images
Chelsea kept their hopes of securing a place in next season’s Champions League well and truly alive as they beat West Ham 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea’s 100% start to the season juddered to a halt with a dull 0-0 draw away at West Ham on Sunday afternoon. The Blues enjoyed 72% of the possession and rained 17 shots down on their opponents’ goal, but they ultimately could not find the breakthrough.
Chelsea went to the London Stadium on Sunday afternoon hoping to extend their 100% league record but for all their possession, they couldn’t break through the strong West Ham defence. The Blues actually could’ve gone behind a couple of times in East London but the game ended goalless.
After a thrilling Manchester derby on Saturday evening, there was a chance of an exciting London derby on Sunday afternoon. However, as Chelsea surrendered yet another one-goal lead, they had to settle for a rather stale 1-1 draw with West Ham. Javier Hernandez’s ninth goal against the Blues cancelled out Cesar Azpilicueta’s scruffy opener.
Goals win football matches and, however cliché that old adage is, we can’t run away from it. Whether Andy Carroll can be a reliable source of goals for Chelsea, however, is another thing altogether.