Declan Rice

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Report: Chelsea eyeing Declan Rice signing next window

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A number of top Premier League clubs are almost certain to line up for Declan Rice‘s services during the next transfer window — whenever that may be, whether this summer or closer to fall — with Chelsea the first known suitors, according to a report from Sky Sports.

[ MORE: Chelsea’s Hudson-Odoi “feeling fine and back to his usual self” ]

According to the report, defensive midfield is high on Frank Lampard‘s list of priorities when the Blues participate in their first transfer window since January 2019. Chelsea were handed a two-window ban which prevented them from making any signings last summer, and though the ban was reduced by half they still signed no one in January.

Rice, a player who Chelsea had in their youth academy from ages 7-14, would likely cost north of $60 million, if not significantly higher. He also remains close friends with Chelsea first-teamer and academy graduate Mason Mount. At just 21 years old, Rice has quickly become West Ham United’s most important, if not also their best, player.

[ MORE: Transfer rumors: Aubameyang to Man United, Skriniar to Man City ]

Playing alongside the likes of N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mount, Rice would seem to fit right into Lampard’s team from day one. Not only would he fill out perhaps the thinnest area of the squad, but he would add immense quality to a perennial top-four contender and PL title hopeful.

Liverpool find another way to win in West Ham comeback

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Sadio Mane punched in a back-post winner as poor Liverpool found a way to keep its unbeaten Premier League season alive with a 3-2 defeat of West Ham United at Anfield.

The Reds improve their record to 26-1, leading second-place Manchester City by 22 points.

[ MORE: Klopp reacts to comeback ]

West Ham threw away a 2-1 lead when star goalkeeper Lukasz Fabinaksi fumbled an easy save, and Mane made the most of the disorganized Irons defense late in the match.

The Irons remain a point off safety with 24 points.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]


Three things we learned

1. Team of destiny Liverpool again wins while miles off its best: Liverpool center back Joe Gomez and to a lesser extent his partner Virgil Van Dijk had poor days, and Jurgen Klopp‘s attackers’ finishing touches were largely absent. Still, the defiant league leaders found their way to three points are now 11 matches from history.

When you can play way off your standard and still out-attempt a Premier League side 25-7, well, you’re pretty good.

2. Fabianski gifts Reds equalizer: Lukasz Fabianski has saved West Ham so, so many times, and he made some nice saves on the day including a wonderful stop on Trent Alexander-Arnold. But his howler of the highest variety on Salah’s tepid low shot is about as bad as it gets for a keeper short of turning and firing into your own goal.

3. Amazing Alexander-Arnold: The right back was again phenomenal an easy Man of the Match in assisting two goals. He would’ve had three if Mane stayed onside in a late lapse of judgment.


If a game had the makings of a 4-4, it was this one; Liverpool has quality players, obviously, but has been prone to lapses. There are fewer of the former and more of the latter for West Ham, but the attackers have high potential.

Liverpool took the leader when Wijnaldum turned a header inside the near post, but Issa Diop answered with a header of his own off a corner kick. The West Ham center back started in the six and darted back in front of Joe Gomez to nod home.

Chances for Sadio Mane after fooling Robert Snodgrass with a dribble and Trent Alexander-Arnold from the right led to near misses.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Roberto Firmino was sent through by Trent Alexander-Arnold and missed a chance badly to start the second half, and Mohamed Salah soon saw a shot blocked by West Ham.

West Ham was stout at the back and looked prepared on the counter, but Liverpool can only blame itself for the second goal. Fornals hung out between Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk, with Fabinho also in the vicinity of Declan Rice‘s cross.

Lukasz Fabianski made a wonderful flying save on an Alexander-Arnold knuckler outside the box, and Liverpool move into the final half-hour up one.

The keeper made a huge error to allow to Liverpool 2-2, a Salah shot squirting through the player’s hands and legs.

Michail Antonio flubbed a 72nd-minute point blank chance.

Liverpool blew chances to make it 3-2 through Van Dijk and Salah as the match reached the final quarter-hour.

Alisson collected a low drive from Sebastian Haller.

Alexander-Arnold set Mane up for a back post finish to put Liverpool ahead, and the same pair saw a fourth goal chalked offside as the Senegalese lazily lost his focus.

Substitute attacker Jarrod Bowen was saved by Alisson when Antonio played him through in the 88th minute.

West Ham had a few more big chances, Noble seeing a rip deflect wide for a final corner. It was cleared by Andy Robertson.

Moyes admits Rice could leave this summer, but hopes he won’t

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Declan Rice is well on his way to becoming one of the most wanted English players in the world, and West Ham United manager David Moyes has admitted it will be hard to keep hold of the 21-year-old this summer.

[ MORE: Guardiola hopes, thinks Messi will finish career at Barcelona ]

Jadon Sancho will remain top of that list until he leaves Borussia Dortmund for upward of $200 million, but Rice has quickly climbed the ranks since making his West Ham debut three short years ago. Not only has he shown well for himself, but Moyes also admitted that Rice “is carrying a lot of the team at the moment,” leaving one to wonder just what will become of the squad if/when he departs  — quotes from the Guardian:

“In my mind, he is arguably the best holding midfield player in the country and the best thing about Declan is he will get better. Declan is carrying a lot of the team at the moment and he’s the one who will carry on from Mark Noble when it comes to an end for him.

“Quite often when building a club you have to sell. I hope it’s not the case with Declan but I said the same with Wayne Rooney and Joleon Lescott [at Everton]. But the team got better because we were able to sign the right players to replace them. If that ever came around, I’d hope we’d be able to do the same here as well.”

[ MORE: Report: Bayern make $22-million bid for USMNT’s Dest ]

Rice is already good enough to break into the first-team rotation of any Premier League club not named Liverpool, and as Moyes rightly points out, he’s only going to get better. Given his premier combination of talent, age and nationality, Rice will easily top the $100-million mark either this summer or the one to follow.

Fans of every one of the PL’s “big-six” sides — yes, even Liverpool — should be hoping it’s their club that lands this special talent.

Declan Rice: West Ham ‘bullied all over the pitch’

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Declan Rice summed up West Ham’s performance at Burnley in one comment: “We were bullied all over the pitch.”

The England international was part of the Hammers side which lost 3-0 at Turf Moor, as they’ve now lost four of their last five Premier League games and haven’t won since they beat Man United on Sept. 22.

Speaking after the game, Rice lambasted his team for putting in a poor defensive display as the 3-0 scoreline flattered them.

“It’s been like this since the Crystal Palace game. We were nowhere near good enough. We haven’t kicked on and we have been poor,” Rice said. “There is a real buzz around the place during the week but it when it gets to the game and we go 1-0 down our heads drop. We need to do the basics – the simple five-yard passing, the tackling. We were bullied all over the pitch – Burnley were winning everything. It’s not good enough.”

Defensively they were poor with stand-in goalkeeper Roberto having another nightmare outing, as the Hammers continue to miss star goalkeeper Lukas Fabianski who is out injured until the end of December. But all over the pitch West Ham’s players looked disinterested and unable to battle with Burnley.

An even bigger problem for West Ham is that they now play all of Tottenham, Chelsea, Wolves, Arsenal and Liverpool in their next six Premier League games.

Manuel Pellegrini is under pressure with the Hammers just five points above the relegation zone.

After two years of big spending, West Ham are battling to stay out of the bottom five or six, rather than battling to be in the top six as many predicted at the start of the season.

Things have unravelled very quickly for the Hammers and Rice’s comments suggest they will have even bigger problems in the weeks ahead.

West Ham have lost against most of the teams they would expect to beat. Can they now raise their game and cause a few upsets between now and the end of December?

West Ham surges past tame Manchester United

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Manuel Pellegrini‘s West Ham United passed a big test, moving into the Top Four with a decisive 2-0 defeat of struggling Manchester United at London’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell scored on either side of halftime to send West Ham fourth with 11 points.

Man United remains eighth with eighth, and lost Marcus Rashford to injury.


Three things we learned

1. Healthy Yarmolenko a big asset: Injuries short-circuited Andriy Yarmolenko’s first year at West Ham after they did the same to his only campaign at Borussia Dortmund, so it’s been easy to forget that the Ukraine playmaker is pacey, creative, and lethal. His lunging finish to beat De Gea in the first half was simply one moment of a match full of good ones, as he fooled Harry Maguire in the process. Three shots, a key pass, and a goal from the right-sided wide man. Good stuff.

2. Pogba import underscored as Rashford adds to injury woes: With Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba already out, the non-contact injury that sent Marcus Rashford to the tunnel is a scary thought for a United team incapable of creative work through the middle. Andreas Pereira was a danger out wide, and Daniel James has proven himself a handful, but a long-term injury to Rashford would heap pressure on young Mason Greenwood. Without Pogba pulling the strings inside — forget Martial’s early season wizardry — this team is in big, big trouble.

Not great, Ed.

3. Technique on return: Aaron Cresswell had a free kick from the right of the 18, with the wall lined up to stop any ideas of a near post effort. Spoiler alert: It didn’t work. The West Ham left back swept a piece of technical beauty over the wall, spinning it into the upper 90 despite the best efforts of David De Gea. Sensational.

Man of the Match: Yarmolenko.


[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Andreas Pereira’s industrious run up the right forced a hard obstruction out of Angelo Ogbonna, who collected a yellow card.

Andriy Yarmolenko was bright early, and linked up with Felipe Anderson to curl a shot into the arms of David De Gea in the 20th minute.

Marcus Rashford drove into the box then was thrown-off by the oncoming Declan Rice and bobbled his dribble, allowing the West Ham man to take the ball away.

De Gea had to make a save on a half-hit Mark Noble strike which was re-directed by Victor Lindelof.

Yarmolenko scored before halftime, Noble and Anderson working the ball inside for the Ukrainian to cut past De Gea through traffic. Beautiful stuff, and it forced a rare mistake out of Harry Maguire.

The second half started well for United, with Juan Mata missing a sliding effort at the back post set up by Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay bundled a shot to Lukasz Fabianski in the 57th.

That’s when Rashford limped off following a non-contact injury.

Yarmolenko set up Anderson for a near post drive that De Gea foiled in the 62nd.

Cresswell made it 2-0 from a free kick in the 84th, De Gea somehow getting a hand to the left-back’s piece of technical beauty.