Declan Rice’s message over his West Ham role as Chelsea ace could be key factor in his future
There may be no football at the moment for West Ham fans to cheer.
With professional football in England currently suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, there will be no games played before April 30 at least.
This week would have been an international break for West Ham and the rest of the Premier League clubs, but instead all players are no working on maintaining their fitness at home.
The outbreak of coronavirus around the world has put a halt to proceedings with uncertainty now reigning on how the end of the season will be worked out.
But, there is still plenty of West Ham news despite the lack of fixtures, including speculation over the future of midfielder Declan Rice.
Below is the latest news.
Rice’s message over his role
Declan Rice has said he can see himself playing more at centre-back in the future.
Rice has impressed in midfield for the Hammers, reaching a century of games for West Ham after being a regular under David Moyes and Manuel Pellegrini before him.
But while he has excelled in a midfield role, the English international has admitted that he feels he could play a more defensive role.
“It’s a tough one because I’ve played virtually every game in the last two seasons in midfield, but I have played at centre-half as well,” he said, in an interview with the West Ham club website.
“The good thing is I’m comfortable at centre-half and, if the manager asked me to play there, I’d have no problem at all and be confident playing back there.
“At the moment, I’m playing in midfield, everything’s around me and I’m learning that position, but maybe in the future I could see myself going back to centre-half, for sure, as I get stronger and a bit better on the ball. At the moment, I’m playing in midfield so I’m keeping it open but I’d never rule it out that maybe I could go back there one day.”
Chelsea star’s role in Rice’s future
Whether Rice will be playing in midfield or defence is one question.
But whether or not that will be for the Hammers is another.
The West Ham star has been linked with a move to Manchester United in the past, while Chelsea have also recently been linked.
Rice only signed a new contract at the London Stadium in December 2018 but has attracted interest from the two English giants, having been an ever-present figure in the Hammers’ team this season, making 35 appearances across all competitions.
Rice is best friends with Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount, but it is another midfielder for the Blues who could be key to the West Ham man’s future.
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Billy Gilmour has impressed recently for the Blues, playing against Liverpool and Everton prior to the suspension of football for the coronavirus outbreak.
The 18-year-old has picked up the man of the match award in both games and he looks like he could potentially be the future of Chelsea’s midfield.
As such, it could be difficult for Rice to fit into the system at Chelsea, despite Lampard’s growing reputation of bringing youngsters through the academy.
And this could have an impact on what happens with Rice’s future ahead of the summer transfer window.