West Ham star Declan Rice has said that he has the ability to play for a club as big as Manchester United but a move this summer would have been too early for him. The 20-year-old was linked with a move away before the summer window opened, and even during the window, but opted to stay in London.
Amongst one of the stars of last season, Declan Rice became an instant hit at West Ham despite being played out of position for most of the season. The 20-year-old adapted brilliantly to his new role as a midfielder and became a key man for manager Manuel Pellegrini and the Hammers. That combined with his performances saw the English international heavily linked with a move to Manchester United.
While that move never materialized, Rice in an interview with the Daily Mail (h/t FourFourTwo) has revealed that he believes he can one day play for a club as big as the Red Devils. The 20-year-old further goes on to add that he would like to be considered as a Hammers legend in the near future.
“Don't get me wrong, I think I've got the ability to play for a club like that. But it's all about the timing, and I don't think the timing is right for me at all. I've still got so much to learn. I'm loving it at West Ham. The connection between me and the supporters is special," said Rice to FourFourTwo.
"I've become one of the fans' favourites and the manager likes me. It's the best place for me to play my football. And yeah, to be called a West Ham legend in the future, maybe, would be a real honour.”
Growing up as a Chelsea fan, Rice joined their academy as a youngster, but his dreams of appearing for the club he supported as a boy was shattered when the Blues released him as a 14-year-old. This saw Rice go on to add that he believes getting released by Chelsea was the best thing that could have ever happened to him.
“I think it’s probably the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I had to move away from home to be at West Ham full-time, and it was tough, but it’s all paid off. Maybe if I hadn’t come here, then where I am today might not have happened. At the time when I got released by Chelsea, I thought they’d made a mistake, so to I knew I had a point to prove.
"Now looking back on it – the person who made the decision – and thinking ‘Maybe we’ve messed up here’, because I’ve kicked on and some of the players they kept have stalled,” concluded the 20-year-old.
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