This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking on talkSPORT, Sam Matterface has revealed Manchester United “need” someone like Declan Rice in their team.
The West Ham midfielder enjoyed an impressive campaign last season in the holding midfield role, and Matterface has insisted United could do with someone of the 20-year-old’s qualities.
He said: “I think that’s what they (United) need, I think they need someone in that position. At the moment they’re playing (Paul) Pogba a little bit deeper because (Nemanja) Matic’s legs have gone and can’t get around the pitch as much as he did before, (Scott) McTominay’s playing alongside Pogba as a result of that.
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“I think ideally, and they did this in the game against Southampton, they pushed Pogba into a No 10 position when they were chasing the game.”
Whilst Scott McTominay continues to improve with each passing game, there is no doubt Rice would represent an upgrade on the Scotland international. The Hammers man averages a ridiculously impressive 3.5 tackles and 2.3 interceptions per game this season, comfortably bettering the numbers of 1.5 and 1.8 for McTominay.
The 20-year-old shows a sense of maturity that belies his tender age, and in a position that requires a real perception of the game, Rice has taken to it like a duck to water.
If United were to sign him, then he could sit back and protect the back-four, and allow flair players like Pogba to really do their damage going forward. He could quite comfortably establish himself as part of the United midfield for more than a decade, given that he will not turn 21 until January.
Buying him from a fellow Premier League side may be tricky, but it could well turn out to be a masterstroke if they manage to pull it off.