Amidst links over a move to Chelsea, Declan Rice has admitted that he is loving life at West Ham and revealed his intentions over becoming a midfield great of the game. The 21-year-old has had an impressive rise to fame over the last few years and it has seen him linked with a move to Europe’s best.
When Chelsea let Declan Rice slip through their hands and sign for West Ham as a teenager, few expected the now 21-year-old to become one of the most exciting English talents in the game. The West Ham star has transformed himself and become a wanted defensive midfielder with his performances for the Hammers improving day by day. So much so, that it has seen Rice earn the captain’s armband for the London side which has impressed quite a few clubs.
The versatile midfielder is capable of playing in quite a few positions which has seen former side Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and a few others all look into the prospect of a move. While no move has materialized so far for Rice, it may only be a matter of time although the 21-year-old has admitted that he’s happy with his situation at West Ham right now. Rice further added that the move to the Hammers has shaped into the person and player that he is today.
“I think that’s the making of me to be honest with you. I had to move to West Ham at 14, away from my family. I’m a family boy, love my mum and dad, live at home with them, and to leave them at 14 to play with people I don’t know from Monday to Friday, I think that shaped me into the person I am. I had to start being responsible for myself, but look, I’ve come here and flourished. I’ve had three managers that have really looked after me, I’m loving life here,” Rice told Sky Sports.
The 21-year-old is a versatile player capable of playing at either center-back or central midfield, with the latter where he has been used more often than not for the Hammers. It is also where Rice sees himself playing in the future despite critics and fans claiming that his best position is in defense. The 21-year-old further added that he believes being in midfield is what he was meant to do with him looking to emulate greats like Yaya Toure and Patrick Viera.
“I see this as my position, 100 per cent. I’ve played in midfield for the last three seasons and I think a lot of people get carried away with what they want me to do! My role is a holding midfielder and there’s not really any flair in that. I’m disciplined, I make sure I’m always available for the team, I’m always in position, I get my passes off quick, I intercept and I tackle. I think a lot of people want to see things like stepovers and I’ve got that in the locker, but that’s not my role!
“I can play at centre-half, but I’ve got much more to give and I think my confidence is growing in midfield. The more I start driving forward with the ball like I’ve done in recent games, the more I’ll grow into that position. I watched the top players like Yaya Toure and Patrick Vieira and every time they see a bit of space, they’d drive into it and look powerful and strong and as a holding midfielder that’s rare these days, so if I can keep adding that into my game, I can keep catching the eye,” he added.