Declan Rice: Man Utd reportedly made £100m bid for West Ham captain last summer | Arsenal also linked with England midfielder | Football news

Manchester United are rumored to have made a £100m bid for West Ham captain Declan Rice last summer – but is he worth the money?

Speaking after a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup on Wednesday, Roy Keane told ITV: “He needs to focus on West Ham first and do well for the rest of the season, but I don’t think he’s going to be great this season.

“I don’t think he’s going to start digging, despite all the talk about him – he needs to do a lot more. He doesn’t score enough goals and doesn’t have enough assists. I was a fan of his, he’s always fit, but I want a little more from him.

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TO WATCH FOR FREE: Highlights of the Premier League match between Brighton and West Ham

“There are rumors that he is leaving for a lot of money and is competing with teams for trophies. Sometimes I see him playing for West Ham and he makes the moves and needs to do a lot more to match the best midfielders in the country.”

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Declan Rice was in a depressed mood after West Ham’s 4-0 defeat to Brighton and apologized to London club fans for a demoralizing performance

speak to Sky Sports NewsGary Neville agreed with his former teammate: “I love Declan Rice. Of course, Declan knows the position, but when I look at world-class midfielders and players of this type, because he doesn’t score enough goals or goal assists, you put him in that category more of a destroyer.

“[Then]so you have to be someone who I think is very competent with the ball and linking play, and also knowledgeable about the subtleties of getting into the ball from a four-back.

“I personally feel that at this point Declan needs to go and work in a different setting, he needs to step up his career, he needs to go and play for another club.

West Ham are struggling this season and are only one point clear of the relegation zone

“It’s nothing against West Ham or David Moyes. I think he did a great job with Declan Rice and had some great years.

“I want him to have a great career and I think he’s a brilliant lad but I agree with some of Roy’s points that I think there’s a lot of development and a lot of work for Declan to get to the level of Casemiro, Rodri and the players at top of the game in these positions.

“But as far as I’m concerned, I wouldn’t have spent £110m or £120m on Rice if I had been Manchester United this summer. I’d spend £50-60m on Declan Rice, but I wouldn’t spend the numbers they’re saying.”

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Gary Neville has agreed with former bandmate Roy Keane’s criticism of Declan Rice and believes he needs a move to advance his career

So what are its strengths and weaknesses?

As for evolution, the graphic below shows how Rice has evolved over the last six seasons, breaking into the first team as a right-centre in 2017/18 before assuming the defensive midfield role.

Initially, Rice mostly patrolled areas in his own half, covering almost the entire width of the pitch. But that coverage has faded and he now focuses on his left region – shifting equally to the opponent’s half.


So Rice moved up the field more and more – but his goal-scoring commitment stagnated somewhat.

The graphic below shows how most of his shots were from long range, with his two league goals coming from an almost identical position – to the left of D.

The 24-year-old has recorded just two assists in the league so far and is fourth at the club with 30 chances.


Of course, West Ham’s wider stagnation this season plays a role: The Hammers finished fourth in the league after 25 games last season with 44 goals on the board. They are 17th this season with 23 goals.

However, the West Ham captain lags behind players by fair comparison with only 18 goals to his name since the 2017/18 season.

By comparison, James Ward-Prowse conjured up 59 in that time while Ruben Neves (28), Ashley Westwood (27), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Stuart Armstrong (25), John McGinn (23) and teammate Tomas Soucek ( 22) – all from fewer minutes on the pitch.

Character and progressive midfielder game

However, Rice certainly does not disappoint on defense. The England international is second in the league this season, regaining possession in the center third, third in interceptions and fifth in recovering the ball in the third half of the defence.

Additionally, his quick forays into opposition territory contributed to 351 completed passes in the last period – the ninth highest total of any Premier League player this campaign.


The chart below charts these key strengths against every player in the league this season and shows Rice standing out on his own, with William Saliba, Idrissa Gueye, Tyler Adams and Rodri all reporting similar metrics across the three metrics.

The graph below shows the total number of passes Rice attempted during this period, broken down by zone, highlighting how he increasingly works in both halves of the left channel – while the passing sonar reveals his progressive passing style and impressive accuracy.


Indeed, Rice is among the absolute elite when it comes to leading the team in attack: he ranks fourth among all Premier League players in terms of progressive distance with the ball at his feet, behind Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson and Rodri.

Increasingly, it seems to be a matter of when, not if, Rice is leaving his childhood club to join the mighty giant – but question marks remain about the reported price tags. Sam Moyes values ​​his captain at over £100m.

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West Ham manager David Moyes says there is no doubt Declan Rice will be England’s future captain after being criticized by Roy Keane for his performances this season

January’s transfer market likely over-priced defensive midfielders, with Chelsea paying a record £106.8m for Enzo Fernandez from Benfica.

But Rice only has one year left on his current deal at London Stadium, with the club likely to extend until 2025, and the Hammers will know Rice will ask for a higher price if they sell this summer.

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