Chelsea FC boss Thomas Tuchel: What I really think about West Ham star Declan Rice

Chelsea FC boss Thomas Tuchel reveals that he is a keen admirer of West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice

Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel (Photo: YouTube / Screengrab)

Thomas Tuchel has described Declan Rice as a “very strong” player and says that the West Ham United midfielder is a “Chelsea boy” at heart.

The midfielder has seen his stock rise over the last few seasons following his excellent form for West Ham and England.

The 22-year-old has been a key figure in West Ham United’s impressive start to the season, with Rice having started all 15 of their Premier League games to help them into fourth place in the table.

Rice – who came through Chelsea FC’s youth system before he moved to West Ham – has scored one goal and made three assists in the Premier League and has also netted twice in the Europa League this season.

The midfielder’s future was a source of speculation over the summer, with both Manchester United and Chelsea FC tipped as potential destinations before he ended up remaining at the London Stadium.

And Blues boss Tuchel has revealed that he is a keen admirer of the midfielder following his sparkling form for club and country.

Speaking before Rice played the full 90 minutes in West Ham’s 3-2 win over Chelsea FC on Saturday, Tuchel said: “It happens at every single club in the world that sometimes players get released in one moment and they have their career on a different way, so this is a pretty normal thing.

“I am absolutely aware that he is a Chelsea boy and he comes through the academy and he is very close to our guys.

“He’s a very strong player and in general, I am absolutely impressed by [Tomas] Soucek and him, what they do since I came into the Premier League. What they do for West Ham. They are real helpers on the pitch, they have an incredible volume both of them.

“They take responsibility for high pressing, for deep defending, for filling the gaps on the wings, for deep build-up, for goals from set-pieces. Both of them are simply doing everything.”

Saturday’s loss caused Chelsea FC to slip down into third place in the table and left them two points behind leaders Manchester City.

Blues defender Thiago Silva issued a rallying cry after the defeat in east London, calling on his team-mates to dust themselves down as they prepare for their home clash against Leeds United on Saturday.

“It’s the first time this season we have conceded three goals in the same match,” Thiago Silva said after Saturday’s loss.

“We played much better than we did in the game before [at Watford], but a team on our level can’t allow them to win a match like that, one we had under control. It’s difficult to take this defeat but we must keep our heads up.”

He added: “We must keep our head up and get ready for the next match that’s coming, because we can’t change what’s happened, but we can change the future.”

MORE: Latest Chelsea FC news and views

MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip

Mikel Arteta
Sky Sports pundit predicts where Arsenal can finish this season
Rio Ferdinand
'I think': Rio Ferdinand makes prediction about Chelsea FC in the League Cup
Martin Keown
Martin Keown wants to see Arsenal sign Adama Traore from Wolves
Spurs legend Garth Crooks (Photo: Screengrab / BBC Sport)
BBC Sport pundit declares Man United star Bruno Fernandes is 'back to his best'
Emma Raducanu
Australian Open 2022: Emma Raducanu wins battle of US Open champs with win over Sloane Stephens
Mikel Arteta
Sky Sports pundit predicts where Arsenal can finish this season
Rio Ferdinand
'I think': Rio Ferdinand makes prediction about Chelsea FC in the League Cup
Martin Keown
Martin Keown wants to see Arsenal sign Adama Traore from Wolves
Spurs legend Garth Crooks (Photo: Screengrab / BBC Sport)
BBC Sport pundit declares Man United star Bruno Fernandes is 'back to his best'
Emma Raducanu
Australian Open 2022: Emma Raducanu wins battle of US Open champs with win over Sloane Stephens
Slideshow
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature