Former Chelsea defender John Terry has lavished praise on West Ham United captain Declan Rice for his performance against Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday (August 28) at Villa Park. The Hammers went into the game off defeats in their opening three games and were desperate to claim all three points.
West Ham faced an Aston Villa side that were also short of confidence. Steven Gerrard's men had lost two and drawn won one of their opening three league games. However, it was West Ham who reigned supreme, thanks to Pablo Fornals' 74th-minute winner.
Nevertheless, it was Rice who received praise from Terry after the game. The former Chelsea youth product has been one of West Ham's standout players in recent years. Rice is arguably one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League. The Blues are massive fans of the 23-year-old and are keen to bring him back to Stamford Bridge.
West Ham have been unwilling to listen to offers for their captain. Chelsea could, however, test the Hammers' resolve in the near future after club legend Terry lavished praise on Rice. He said:
"DeclanRice covers every inch of the pitch. What a player (clapping emoji)," tweeted Terry.
Rice has made nearly 200 appearances and scored ten goals across competitions for West Ham, who finished seventh last season and reached the UEFA Europa League semifinals. The youngster will be keen to move to one of Europe's top clubs and play in the UEFA Champions League.
Chelsea to make Declan Rice move next summer?
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel possesses a wealth of options in midfield, so he's not in dire need of reinforcements at the moment. However, N'Golo Kante has entered the final year of his contract.
Despite being a crucial member of the Blues' starting line-up, the 31-year-old has struggled with injuries in the last few seasons. He missed 12 Premier League games last campaign due to injury and illness. So the west London club could opt against offering him a contract extension.
In that case, they will need to sign an adequate replacement if the Frenchman leaves next summer. Rice could be an option, as he will have just one year remaining in his contract next summer and could be available for a bargain price.
The England international could be interested in returning to his boyhood club if the Blues qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League.