West Ham star Declan Rice, who is a target for Chelsea, would be a great signing for Manchester United according to former Hammers’ striker John Hartson.
Speaking to Stadium Astro, as relayed by Goal, former West Ham United star John Hartson has claimed that Manchester United would stand to benefit greatly by signing Declan Rice, insisting that he would represent an upgrade on the Red Devils’ current options.
21-year-old Rice has grown into one of the best central midfielders in the Premier League over the past couple of years. Having broken into the West Ham senior team back in 2017 as a centre-back, the Englishman has made the No. 6 spot for club and country own.
A permanent fixture in the starting lineup when fit and available for West Ham, Rice has made 124 appearances for the east Londoners already. The England international hasn’t missed a single minute of Premier League action this season, captaining the side in 12 of the Hammers’ 14 league games.
An important cog in the middle for David Moyes’ side, Rice has been constantly linked with a move to Chelsea. It is at the Blues’ academy that the Englishman started out before making the switch to West Ham’s youth setup. And manager Frank Lampard is believed to be intent on taking him back to the club.
However, the Blues are not alone in pursuit of the England international, with Manchester United also believed to be monitoring him. And, Hartson, who played for West Ham, has claimed that Rice would be an upgrade on the likes of Fred and Scott McTominay at Old Trafford.
“I think he’s better than Fred, I think he’s better than McTominay. [Bruno] Fernandes is outstanding, he’s been Manchester United’s best player in the last 12 months since they bought him. [Paul] Pogba, we’re not quite sure what Pogba is going to turn up – some weeks he’s great, others he is languishing and doesn’t look up to it. I think he would be a great signing for them,” he said.
Hartson also went on to add that even Manchester City could fancy making a move for Rice. “Man City? Rodri, Fernandinho – I’m not sure Rodri is the player we expected him to be, his performances haven’t been at the level. I think he walks into those teams. I think Pep Guardiola and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would love a Declan Rice. I think he is better than those players.”
Manchester United will soon need to bolster their midfield unit as Nemanja Matic isn’t getting any younger while Paul Pogba’s future at the club remains uncertain. While the Red Devils are reportedly close to signing South American sensation Moises Caicedo, a proven Premier League player like Rice would take the team to the next level.
The same goes for Manchester City as well, who will soon need to replace the ageing Fernandinho. However, with Chelsea very much in the mix to sign the 21-year-old, it will be interesting to see whether any of the clubs do end up making a move for the West Ham star in the future.