Chelsea have been told that Declan Rice could one day captain the club were they to win the race for the West Ham midfielder’s signature this summer.
The comments came from England manager Gareth Southgate, who piled praise on Rice after he came off the bench to help the Three Lions beat Switzerland 2-1 at Wembley on Saturday night. The 22-year-old has become a regular in the national side and impressed throughout the summer as England narrowly lost out to Italy in the final of Euro 2020.
Manchester United and Manchester City have also been linked with a move for Rice ahead of the summer, with the Hammers rumoured to be demanding at least £100 million for his signature, although they have stressed they have no plans to sell. But having previously been a member of the Blues academy, Chelsea may remain confident of landing Rice, despite their current inability to buy players, a situation which should change when the sale of the club is completed.
Were the Blues to secure his signature, he could one day find himself captaining the side. After England’s victory at Wembley, Southgate said: “He is right amongst that (captain conversations) despite his age. What I have seen this season is the confidence that he has gained from his experience last summer. I think he had a huge impact on the game when he came on.
“A really mature performance, strong, breaks the game up so well, but now has more confidence to drive with the ball and bring it forward as well. Without a doubt he has all the attributes to be a captain. There will be others, but we are gaining the rewards of the opportunities we had to blood him so young.
“The initial Nations League campaign and playing against the Dutch in the semi-final of that. They were the biggest games of his life at that time. He is now getting European experience with his club as well and all of those things are starting to come together.”