Liverpool are hot in the market for quality additions that can bolster the midfield, and West Ham United’s touted phenom Declan Rice is rising up the Reds’ winter shopping list.
What’s the word?
Despite initially refusing to accept their coveted asset wanting to depart, slapping a £150m price tag on him, the Hammers are now resigned to losing their man and are willing to take £70m, according to Football Insider.
And now renowned transfer journalist Dean Jones, writing for GIVEMESPORT believes that the Reds should consider the 23-year-old as an alternative to Jude Bellingham, who is attracting monumental interest in his services.
With Liverpool unlikely to be able to seal the deal for both stars, Jones believes that the Merseyside giants might be prudent in forging ahead for a deal with Rice, given Bellingham’s gargantuan £129m price tag.
Who would you rather sign?
An excellent Bellingham alternative
While occupying different roles in the midfield, with Borussia Dortmund’s Bellingham a magnificent blend of offensive and defensive tricks, who Liverpool decide to pursue might fall down to factors such as the necessity to fill the position.
Fabinho currently occupies the defensive midfield role in the squad but has been beset with a stark decline in form this term, and Liverpool may look to replace him with the younger, vibrant Rice.
Football Insider claims that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been observing Rice at the World Cup, looking to see if he can transfer his fine performances at club level to the major stage.
Klopp will undoubtedly like what he sees, with Rice an integral part of an England side that has topped the group and assuredly swept into the quarter-finals following the first knockout phase, where the nation bested a commendable effort from Senegal.
As per Sofascore, the 37-cap international has recorded an average pass success rate of 94%, making two interceptions and recording 0.8 tackles per outing, whilst out in Qatar, and has cemented his role as a vital presence at the heart of the midfield, alleviating the pressure on the defence and instigating forward transitions when he sees an opening.
In the Premier League, he has fared even better; putting in a rating of 7.27 – the best in the entire Hammers squad – and recording 2.4 tackles and 1.6 interceptions per outing, Rice has continued to glisten as a brilliant star, despite his club’s woes.
Indeed, West Ham sit in 16th place after 15 matches, one point above the relegation zone, and Rice has seemingly decided he has led the club as far as possible, now seeking pastures anew.
While Bellingham holds the glamour and the glitz, the “machine”-like Rice – in the words of reporter Paul Carter – is a master at retaining possession, providing a cushion for the backline and diverting offensive moves away from danger, while also possessing a knack for goal himself.
Liverpool must seriously consider the deal, he could be just what they need to cement their success for years to come.