West Ham United teenager Declan Rice went from being in the starting line-up against Liverpool to not making the 18-man squad against Bournemouth on Saturday, and they must now take the decision to loan the 19-year-old out to Celtic.
Well, it seemed as though the 19-year-old was going to have a big part to play for the Irons this season with manager Manuel Pellegrini starting him at defensive midfield during pre-season and then against Jurgen Klopp’s men at Anfield, but he struggled to make an impact on Merseyside in a 4-0 defeat.
The Republic of Ireland international didn’t make the cut at all for the 2-1 loss against Bournemouth at the London Stadium at the weekend, to suggest that his boss perhaps doesn’t feel that he is quite ready to be a first-team regular – particularly in a defensive midfield role – despite the fact that he racked up the top-flight appearances last term.
It is still early days, but the evidence suggests so far that Rice looks to be far more able as a centre-back than he does in the middle of the park, and in that respect a temporary move to the Scottish Premiership holders would likely suit him down to the ground.
Bhoys boss Brendan Rodgers is surely looking for a new centre-back with Dedryck Boyata’s future seemingly up in the air and with the likes of Jozo Simunovic, Kris Ajer and Jack Hendry looking shaky in the early stages of the campaign, and Rice would be an inspired addition.
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While he is not the finished article, he stood up well to many Premier League attackers as he became a regular fixture in the backline in 2018, and he has the quality in possession to use the ball well too.