Name: Declan Rice
Club: West Ham United
Date of Birth: 14 January 1999 (age 21)
Position: Defensive midfielder, centre-back
Rice grew up in Kingston Upon Thames, joining the academy of Chelsea back in 2006, as a seven-year-old. Eight years later in 2014, Rice was released by Chelsea and subsequently joined the academy of West Ham United. Rice played for the Hammers youth team for just one season before breaking into their first team in 2015.
After signing his first professional contract with the club, Rice received his first senior call-up to West Ham’s first team during games against Everton and Sunderland in 2007. The young midfielder made his senior debut against Burnley on the last day of the 2016-17 Premier League season, coming on as a substitute in the 91st minute. His debut came just five days after captaining the under-23 team to promotion. Rice made his full senior debut on 19 August 2017 in a Premier League match against Southampton.
Rice made three senior appearances for the Republic of Ireland, though in 2019 he committed his future to England, and has gone on to make an impressive seven appearances for the Three Lions.
Declan Rice has been linked with a move back to boyhood club Chelsea who are keen to improve their midfield/defence this summer. Rice is regarded highly by manager Frank Lampard, and he hopes to win the signature of the young English superstar ahead of Premier League rivals.
Rice is a defensive powerhouse, with an intelligent talent for reading the game. He has great composure when playing in the holding-midfield role, and he has the ability to switch play further up the pitch to the attackers.
At youth level, Rice was a centre-back; however, he developed into more of a defensive midfielder under former manager Manuel Pellegrini. Rice’s play style has been compared to Sergio Busquets on many occasions.