Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Manchester United could finally replace Roy Keane with Declan Rice

Manchester United have been meandering of late, lacking clear instructions from their manager and drive from the players on the pitch.

Moments of individual brilliance have continued to hold Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sinking ship together so far this season, but things will have to rapidly improve if it’s to stay afloat in the long term.

And while the Norwegian has rightly been apportioned a large amount of blame for the Red Devils’ current struggles, his apparent lack of tactical nouse is not the only factor at play.

It’s believed that Solskjaer made his demands for a new holding midfielder clear to the club’s hierarchy over the summer, only for a centre-back and right-winger to be prioritised instead.

The pragmatic double pivot of Fred and Scott McTominay that proved so effective in previous years for the 20-time English champions no longer has the same effect, exposing United’s underperforming defenders with alarming regularity.

However, football director John Murtough may not have too cast his net too far in search of the much-needed solution to United’s engine room woes.

1 of 10

Can you beat this impossible Manchester United quiz?! Starting off easy...

It was reported by the Manchester Evening News back in September that United’s hierarchy had identified West Ham United’s Declan Rice as a priority signing after missing out during the summer.

The England international had just enjoyed the best season of his career after playing a pivotal part in the Hammers finishing in sixth position in the top-flight table before being called up the Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad for Euro 2020.

And the youngster carried his eye-catching form onto the international stage throughout the tournament, earning praise from several pundits, including Teddy Sheringham.

“(He’s a player I see at a club like Manchester United) without a doubt. I thought Declan Rice was our outstanding player at Euro 2020,” he said.

“I was very disappointed when he got brought off in the final, it was the wrong decision. We couldn’t retain possession when it was tough against the Italians — and he was one player who did retain possession.

“He moved like a Rolls-Royce with the ball out of a problem and then found a pass after that. It’s invaluable to be able to do that and he showed what a top player he is. He’s a top player so he will be going somewhere quite soon.”

The ex-United and England striker then lavished more praise on Rice and continued to link him with a potential move to Old Trafford, even comparing him to two former midfield greats of the club.

Could Rice emulate Keane?

Yes, definitely!

Yes, definitely!

No way!

No way!

“He’ll definitely be on Manchester United’s radar. He’s in the mould of Roy Keane and Michael Carrick, who were two top, top players, which you’ve got to have in midfield for Manchester United. So he’d easily fit in there,” Sheringham concluded.

Since then, Rice has taken his game to another level under the tutelage of David Moyes, bagging three goals and providing three assists in 13 appearances as West Ham currently sit in a Champions League qualification spot.

It’s arguable that United have never replaced Keane in the middle of the park since his controversial departure in 2006, with Carrick more of a successor to Scholes than the Irishman.

But Rice certainly has the drive and tenacity that Keane had in abundance and that Solskjaer’s charges are desperately in need of.

Only time will tell if the £62,000-per-week titan, who Gary Lineker dubbed “magnificent”, makes the move to Manchester, but he’s certainly a player that Murtough should be closely monitoring if he wants to catch up with his domestic and European rivals.

And, in other news…Forget Pogba: Man Utd lightweight who lost 60% of his duels was “exposed” vs Atalanta

Article title: Manchester United could finally replace Roy Keane with Declan Rice

Please leave feedback to help us improve the site: