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Chelsea: Vivell must repeat Mudryk masterclass by clinching Declan Rice

Chelsea are facing the prospect of missing out on Declan Rice this year, with reports stating that Premier League rivals and table-toppers Arsenal are swerving into the lead in the race for his signature…

What’s the word?

West Ham United are reportedly resigned to losing their most coveted asset at the end of the current term, with The Athletic revealing an article just before Christmas that the east London outfit had ‘conceded internally’ that he will need to be sold after rejecting a contract extension in search of Champions League football, although they have touted his services at as high as £100m.

Arsenal and Chelsea have been at the forefront of the speculation, but recent light has shone in the Gunners’ direction following The Guardian’s claim that the 23-year-old favours a move to north London, with the enticing prospect of playing at a flourishing outfit under one of the most technicality adept and vibrant managers in the division in Mikel Arteta swinging the odds.

Boehly masterclass needed again

The Blues are baring their razor-sharp teeth under owner Todd Boehly, displaying their ruthless nature on the transfer front and already piping their London rivals to the signing of Mykhaylo Mudryk this winter.

Arsenal had looked locked and loaded to complete a successful pounce on Mudryk, who was snatched from under their noses by Boehly and his transfer contingent in the dying embers of the saga, arriving at the new Chelsea project in a deal potentially rising to £88.5m.

The plain fact is, many rival supporters will bemoan Chelsea’s relentless pursuit of fresh talent under their new American owner, but the crafting of what could swiftly become a super-team capable of dominating at the very top of the game, both domestically and continentally, is what will remain when the seasons have concluded and the trophies have been lifted into the air.

Should Chelsea sign Declan Rice?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Continuing this unremitting approach, Boehly and his Blues technical director Christopher Vivell must reflect on the deal for Mudryk, who looked a captivating figure following his debut cameo against Liverpool in a drab 0-0 draw that threatened to spark into unlikely life with his introduction, with Football.London’s Bobby Vincent hailing his “extremely dangerous” fleeting performance.

This must be emulated with the Hammers’ Rice, who has made 26 appearances this season and chalked up an average Premier League rating of 7.25, as per Sofascore, despite his side’s woes – West Ham languish in 16th place in the division with just 18 points from 20 matches – recording 2.3 tackles and 1.6 interceptions per outing and completing 88% of his passes.

Heralded as a “force of nature” by journalist Rob Blanchette, the 39-cap England international would knit the midfield together and provide cohesion and an iron-clad resolve that would leave the opposition quaking.

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Where is Jeffrey Bruma playing his football now?

With the newfound Blues team indeed being crafted into a devastating and fearsome unit, Rice would be the anchor that would be paramount to ensuring success, with talkSPORT host Tony Cascarino remarking at his “admirable” attitude to his game and performances on the pitch.

Bearing these factors in mind, and reflecting on the magnitude of stealing Mudryk from the Gunners’ clutches, Rice must be signed; Chelsea need a holding midfielder to solidify the success of a new era at the club, and knocking rivals Arsenal down a peg at the same time only adds extra incentive to strike an iron into the market for a superlative machine in Rice.