In the January transfer window, Chelsea reportedly turned down the opportunity to sign Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice, opting instead to sign Enzo Fernandez from Benfica.
Rice recently completed his move to Arsenal from West Ham United, becoming the Gunners’ club-record signing and the most expensive British player of all time. However, had Chelsea pursued him, the talented midfielder could have ended up at Stamford Bridge.
Rice began his football journey in Chelsea’s youth system but was released by the club at the age of 14. He then joined West Ham United’s academy, where he progressed through the ranks and made his senior debut in 2017.
During his time at West Ham, Rice made 245 appearances, scoring 15 goals, and providing 13 assists. He captained the team to their first major trophy since 1980, winning the UEFA Europa Conference League.
Frank Lampard’s Desire to Sign Declan Rice
Former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard recently revealed his interest in signing Declan Rice for the club. Lampard not only recognized Rice’s football abilities but also admired his leadership qualities. He believed that Rice could have become Chelsea’s captain for the next decade.
In an interview with the Diary of a CEO Podcast, Lampard expressed his desire to bring Rice to Stamford Bridge, acknowledging the changes that occurred at the club after his departure.
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Lampard’s Chelsea Stints
Frank Lampard was appointed as Chelsea’s manager in 2019 following Maurizio Sarri’s departure. He led the team to an FA Cup final but was eventually sacked in 2021.
Lampard returned to Chelsea as a caretaker manager in the later stages of the 2022-23 campaign after Graham Potter’s dismissal. However, he was unable to turn the club’s fortunes around, and they finished 12th in the Premier League table.
Chelsea’s decision not to sign Declan Rice in the January transfer window allowed Arsenal to secure the highly regarded midfielder. Rice’s journey from Chelsea’s youth system to West Ham United has been impressive, and his recent move to Arsenal marks a significant chapter in his career.
Frank Lampard’s expressed desire to sign Rice highlights the potential he saw in the talented midfielder. While Chelsea missed out on the opportunity, Rice’s arrival at Arsenal adds strength and depth to the Gunners’ midfield.