Why Man United should go all out for Declan Rice in January
According to the Daily Mail, Man United are plotting an audacious £70 million raid on West Ham for starlet Declan Rice in the January transfer window, with the Red Devils keen to bring in more reinforcements following a poor start to the campaign.
United were heavily linked with a move for the 20-year-old defensive midfielder throughout the summer but the Red Devils never made an official bid to try and tempt West Ham into selling one of their prized assets. (h/t Daily Mail)
United went on to spend a fortune to bring in top homegrown prospects like Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James in the summer as a part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s youthful squad overhaul, while Harry Maguire also came through the door at Old Trafford for £80 million, a world-record fee for a centre-back.
However, despite the new recruits making a positive impression early in the campaign, United currently find themselves marooned 12th in the Premier League standings after winning only two of their first eight league fixtures.
Having spent big in the summer, such contrasting returns on the pitch have given rise to swatches of unrest among the Old Trafford faithful but the Red Devils probably know that they still have plenty of gaps to plug in their squad if they are to give themselves a realistic chance of competing on equal terms with the other heavyweights in the Premier League.
Keeping in mind United’s ongoing crisis in the final third, a new out-and-out centre-forward and a top-quality creative midfielder are expected to be high on the club’s wishlist moving forward but, with the likes of Nemanja Matic and Fred looking way off the pace in the early stages of the season, the Red Devils have also identified Declan Rice as a top priority in January.
With their defensive issues now sorted out to a considerable extent, it is imperative to say that United cannot look forward to bringing in quality reinforcements in all departments in January but Rice has been on their radar for a long time and move to Old Trafford does look like a possibility for the 20-year-old.
To put things into perspective, a deal for Declan Rice, who has one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League over the past twelve months, could be a massive coup for Man United during the mid-season transfer window
West Ham, though, would be well within their rights to demand a higher fee for a player who has serious potential and recently put pen to paper on fresh terms last season, meaning that he is under contract at the London Stadium until 2024.
Hence, the Red Devils might have to pay multiple times over the odds to secure his services and, with West Ham also competing for a European spot under Manuel Pellegrini, it remains to be seen whether they would be keen to part ways with Rice, who is regarded as a player with serious potential.
However, it would be a massive statement of intent from the Red Devils if they do manage to get a deal over the line for the talented holding midfielder.
The towering 6ft. 1-inch London-born starlet has impressed with his energetic tough-tackling displays in the middle of the park and he would definitely be a massive upgrade on the likes of Matic and Fred, who have struggled to make much of an impression in recent times.
Already capped on 5 occasions by England at the senior international level, Rice would be the ideal commanding presence in midfield that United have been crying out for a long time
Additionally, his ability to shield the backline, break up the play, retain possession effectively and put the team on the front foot should make him an excellent fit for Solskajer’s counter-attacking system which necessitates quick transitions in play.
The 20-year-old still has his best years ahead of him and he could evolve into a wonderful long-term servant at Old Trafford if he goes on to fulfil his promise.
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With United currently on the lookout for bright up and coming players in the market, it doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out that Rice would be an ideal long-term investment for the Red Devils for a number of reasons.
All in all, Man United completing a raid for Declan Rice would be a yet another step that underpins their ambitions under the stewardship of Solskjaer and one that could go on to pay rich dividends in the future.