Chelsea are still on the market for players who can bolster their midfield and defence ahead of next season, identifying Declan Rice as a player who can do both.
The Blues have made the West Ham star one of their main targets for the summer but a deal is still yet to be agreed between the two London outfits.
Former Arsenal midfielder Perry Groves has given his take on Frank Lampard’s pursuit of the 21-year-old, tipping him to solve problems in multiple areas on the pitch.
Would you like to see Chelsea sign Declan Rice?
“I think he does suit Chelsea because we said before, they look weak through the centre of their midfield area,” Groves told talkSPORT (via football.london). “It gives them that little bit of physical strength and he’s got better on the ball.
“He would be a player who would protect the two centre-halves. So that makes sense.”
Indeed, the Blues struggled to keep goals out last season, conceding the most out of the top ten sides in the Premier League table with 54. Kepa Arrizabalaga has been identified as a weak link and the club are making moves to replace him as soon as possible.
Lampard doesn’t seem convinced on his backline either, with talks of the likes of Marcos Alonso heading for the exit.
Rice will reportedly command a hefty transfer fee of £70million, according to ESPN. However, Groves feels that his English nationality will add another £10m onto that amount.
“The price is going to be more because obviously he’s English so that always puts the price up by another £10million, doesn’t it?”
Despite his defensive contributions, Rice isn’t all that confident going forward. Across his senior career he has managed to tally just three goals and four assists so far (via Transfermarkt).
Chelsea haven’t given up on their pursuit of the defender-turned-midfielder but they may have to bite the bullet and splash the full asking price if they want to see him in blue next season.
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