Man United want West Ham's Declan Rice - The Verdict

Man United target Declan Rice

Manchester United want Declan Rice at the base of their midfield, according to The Sun.

Having established himself as a key player for club and country this season, it’s no surprise that the Red Devils are chasing a young, English player who seems to have a big future ahead of him. There has always been a synonymy between United and the England national team. 

West Ham manager David Moyes has claimed that Rice is worth more than £100m, but it is easy to see why the Irons gaffer rates his midfielder so highly.

The 22-year-old has captained the Irons on 19 occasions in the league this term, and has led by example with his performances as well. As per WhoScored, he has made 58 interceptions, won 55 tackles, and completed 25 dribbles – placing him inside the top four in all of these categories amongst his teammates.

So while it remains to be seen if United will indeed spend big on Rice this summer, our writers attempt to answer one simple question – would he be a good signing for the Red Devils?

GIVEMESPORT’s Sam Brookes, Jonathan Gorrie, Joshua Cole and Tom Kelly give their verdicts below…

Sam Brookes

“Rice is a classy operator.

“At such a tender age, he has matured into a wonderful footballer, and is only likely to get better in the coming years.

“His numbers for West Ham have been remarkable this year, particularly his interceptions, which demonstrate his impeccable reading of the game. It is no surprise that no United player can match his total of 58 interceptions in the league this year.

“Rice has also taken his club form onto the international stage. He won back-to-back man-of-the-match awards last month against Albania and Poland. It seems that he is destined to run England’s midfield for the next decade, and he would be capable of doing the same at United if he gets the opportunity.”

Jonathan Gorrie

In Rice, United would be getting a defensive midfielder capable of anchoring the engine room for years to come.

“Averaging more in the way of interceptions per game (1.9, via WhoScored) than any of Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic, Rice has been talked up as United class by Tony Cascarino.

“Also averaging fewer fouls per game than the United trio, Rice could be a controlled presence in the midfield over the next few years, helping liberate the attack on a much more sustained basis.

Joshua Cole

“Although there is no doubting Rice’s ability, United may have to pay an astronomical price to secure his services this summer given just how well he is playing for West Ham.

“Whilst the Red Devils do need to bolster their squad ahead of next season to close the gap between themselves and Manchester City, it would be an extremely foolish move to draft in another central midfielder given that they already have Scott McTominay on their books.

“Now an ever-present in Solskjaer’s starting XI, the Scotland international has averaged an impressive WhoScored rating of 6.9 in the Premier League whilst recording a pass success rate of 87.6% and a tally of 1.5 tackles per game, which is the fourth highest total produced by a current United player.

“By giving McTominay room to develop over the coming years and thus avoiding the temptation of buying Rice, United could use the money available this summer to improve their options at centre-back as they need to work on this area due to the fact that they have only kept 12 league clean-sheets this season – a number bettered by three other clubs.”

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Tom Kelly

“Rice should be top of Ole’s wishlist.

“It’s been reported in the past how the United boss doesn’t trust Scott McTominay or Fred to sit alone in midfield, which has ultimately stifled the Red Devils creatively.

“Rice is emerging as one of the best defensive midfielders in the league, for the reasons my colleagues have already highlighted, and bringing the West Ham star to Manchester could solve this problem.

“He is more than capable of playing a defensive role on his own, which will free up another midfielder to play in a more creative fashion. Therefore, this may present Donny van de Beek with an opportunity to play in midfield alongside Bruno Fernandes next season.

“A truly win-win situation for everybody involved. Now get your cheque book out, United.”

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