‘Over the top’ – TalkSPORT pundits react as Manchester United linked with £40.5m-rated talent
TalkSPORT pundits Darren Gough and Sam Matterface believe that West Ham United’s Declan Rice would fit in at Manchester United, following rumours linking the England international with an Old Trafford move.
Rice has been mooted as a potential target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side by a number of sources following claims from former footballer Noel Whelan (via Football Insider) that the Red Devils could make a £90m approach for the 20-year-old.
Currently rated at under half that sum by Transfermarkt (who value the youngster at £40.5m), TalkSPORT’s Darren Gough feels that the rumoured price tag of Rice is slightly exaggerated – but agreed with colleague Matterface that he could see him in a United shirt in the future.
He said: “It’s over the top, isn’t it? I thought he did play well the other night [against Bulgaria], he was comfortable to receive the ball in all areas. I thought it was a good performance from him – especially the second half – and yes, I can see him playing for Manchester United.”
Matterface was of a similar opinion, saying: “I think that’s what they need, I think they need someone in that position. At the moment, they’re playing [Paul] Pogba a little bit deeper because [Nemanja] Matic’s legs have gone, he can’t get around the pitch as much as he did before. [Scott] McTominay’s playing alongside Pogba as a result of that.”
Going by their respective starts to the Premier League season, Rice potentially has what it takes to slot into the defensive midfield of Manchester United – with the youngster posting a higher pass success rate than each of Pogba, McTominay and Matic, having played every minute of the current campaign so far (via WhoScored).
And with Matic seemingly out of favour at the moment (with a solitary substitute appearance to his name so far this season), perhaps Rice will be able to instantly command a place within the United setup should he leave the London Stadium.
Meanwhile, installing Rice into Pogba’s centre-midfield position could allow the Frenchman to be played in a more attacking role that saw him become United’s leading goalscorer last season – which demonstrates another example as to why Rice could benefit the team, as the TalkSPORT duo suggest.
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