According to a recent report from The Daily Mail, Declan Rice could well be set for a move away in the near future. The 19-year-old currently plays his football at Premier League side West Ham having come up through the youth ranks at the East London outfit, appearing 26 times in the top-flight for the club last term in their run to 13th place in the table.
Yet reports suggest that the versatile youngster and his representatives have rejected a ‘derisory’ contract offer from the Hammers to keep him at the club beyond the summer, and with a contract stand-off seemingly taking place, Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham should be ready to launch a move for a player who starred against them last season.
Ultimately, 19-year-old Rice only made his senior debut for West Ham on the final day of the 2016/17 campaign, before going on to become a regular in the side last season as David Moyes’ men inched their way away from the relegation zone.
And while he earned many rave reviews for his efforts in the Premier League, one of his standout displays came in the Carabao Cup against Pochettino’s Spurs in October of last year, in which the Hammers came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and thus knock the North Londoners out of the competition.
And 19-year-old Rice was one of the star performers for Slaven Bilic’s Hammers on the night, with the young defender coming in at centre back and producing an outstanding display for the East London club, with the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international reading the game brilliantly and showing great defensive discipline to help West Ham get over the line.
Yes, that didn’t immediately pave the way for Rice to become a regular in the Hammers first team, but by the start of 2018 he was often a feature in the Premier League – thus, his starring role against Spurs that day appear to have got his career going.
And that should be of interest to Tottenham boss Pochettino, as not only would Rice give the Spurs chief another long-term option in the heart of his defence, but his efforts in recent games against Everton and Chelsea suggest that he could be the ideal man to control the Tottenham midfield in years to come.
The 19-year-old helped the Hammers dominate the middle of the park in their 3-1 success at Everton little over a week ago before giving Chelsea no room at all in the midfield on Sunday, with the versatile youngster showing excellent awareness and a great reading of the game to help thwart the likes of Eden Hazard at the London Stadium at the weekend.
And with Mousa Dembele likely to leave Spurs in the not-too-distant future, and question marks surrounding the ability of Eric Dier, Pochettino may well feel that he needs another accomplished option in his midfield department, and one that could do that job in the long-term – Rice ticks all those boxes.
And with his contract situation far from certain at West Ham, Spurs should be looking to lure the man that announced himself to English football against Tottenham last term to North London.
Tottenham fans… what do you think? Let us know!