Football

Will Declan Rice replace Paul Pogba at Manchester United?

Declan Rice has long been linked with one of the Premier League giants. But will it be Manchester United, Chelsea or Manchester City who can lure him away from West Ham?

According to the Metro, all three clubs are chasing the midfielder. But Hammers boss David Moyes wants to keep his star player at all costs.

That said, it will be extremely difficult to fend off interest from the likes of Man Utd and Man City. Both have money to spend on improving their squad. Chelsea meanwhile – along with the money – have the power of nostalgia at their disposal. Rice was once a member of their academy.

Both City and Chelsea do, however, have a packed midfield as it is. The former boast the likes of Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne, and Rodri among many others. The latter meanwhile have a long list of players in that area. That includes Mason Mount, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, and N’Golo Kante among others.

That leaves Man Utd. Their squad depth isn’t what it used to be, particularly in midfield. Fans have made it very clear that a new holding midfielder is exactly what the club needs.

Is it the end for Paul Pogba at Man Utd?

Both Scott McTominay and Fred have enjoyed regular spots in defensive midfield for the Red Devils this season. The enigmatic Paul Pogba meanwhile has missed out through injury. But with his contract expiring in the summer, his future at the club remains increasingly uncertain.

When fit, the France international has largely occupied a place in central midfield. But he has also spent a large chunk of his career in a more defensive role. He’s even spent time in a more attacking role, both centrally and out wide, such is his versatility.

But as United fans know, his ability to produce stunning moments hasn’t shown itself often enough. Pogba did, however, start the season in blistering fashion. He registered seven assists in his first four league matches. 

Will Declan Rice replace him?

Rice has proven himself to be one of the most complete midfielders in the league. It’s definitely worth remembering that he is just 23 years old. Despite his age, he’s shown time and again that he is a real leader.

It may have been against lower-league opposition, but his recent FA Cup goal against Kidderminster Harriers typified such leadership.

With an eye for a precise tackle and a clever pass, the West Ham man has been crucial to his club’s rise in recent seasons. Rice also loves getting forward and certainly knows where the net is. He is definitely the sort of player Man Utd require at the heart of their midfield.

Brighton star Yves Bissouma is another name that has been linked with a switch to Old Trafford. The Mali international is attracting huge interest after impressing in these last few years.

But Rice seems to be the number one target. Whoever is in the hot seat at Man Utd next season, they will most certainly want the England international in their starting XI.

About the author

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Peter Lynch

Sports Journalism graduate from the University of Stirling, huge Liverpool and Northern Ireland fan, currently working as a freelancer.

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