West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has said that his release from Chelsea helped him to develop into the player that he is today. The 20-year-old was with the Blues from 2006 until being released from the club in 2014 after being deemed surplus to requirements.
Chelsea have been hasty in terms of releasing a lot of youth products. In addition to Rice, other now quality players whom they parted ways with prematurely include Mohamed Salah, Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku.
As quoted by West Ham’s website, Rice said: “For me, it was really tough because Chelsea was all I knew and all my family knew. I didn’t know what would happen, how West Ham would take to me, what the new house would be like that I was moving into, and being away from my family
“There were so many different things that were a part of me moving to West Ham that have shaped me into the person I am now. Looking back, it was tough and I hated being away from home, but I got through it in the end.
“I had a strong mentality and I wanted to succeed and it’s made me into the man I am today.”
Rice has developed into one of the best English defensive midfielders
After being integrated into the Hammers first-team back in 2015, Rice went on to become a first-team regular for the club during the 2017/18 season. After initially representing the Republic of Ireland at youth level and even at senior level in non-competitive games, he opted to switch his international allegiance and represent England from last year.
He is of high probability to be part of the England team which will compete at the 2020 European Championships and could even be in line to be used as Gareth Southgate’s first-choice defensive midfielder barring a massive rise in form of Tottenham’s Eric Dier.
Rice should look to leave West Ham during the near future
West Ham look like they will be more or less consigned to being a mid-table club for the near future. Due to structural issues, the club are unable to really launch a challenge for a top six place on the standings. Rice is a player who should look to play Champions League football in the near future. It would thus make complete sense for him to look to leave the Hammers during the near future in order to join a strong club from one of Europe’s top five Leagues.
The London Stadium has been a good place for him to up his craft but he will have to leave.