​Chelsea love playing academy stars these days. Declan Rice used to be part of the Blues' youth setup. He's best friends with Mason Mount. They're destined to reunite one day, right?


Wrong. Very, very, very wrong.


Nevertheless, Sky Sports seem to believe so, with ​Chelsea said to be interested in landing Rice in the upcoming transfer window

Mason Mount,Declan Rice

We all know about ​Chelsea's defensive struggles this year. At the back, they have been far from convincing, while the lack of steel in midfield has hit them hard. ​N'Golo Kanté's injury battles have left them vulnerable.


Bringing someone in with more of a defensive focus is probably a good idea, but there's no way Rice should be that man.


Since breaking through to the ​West Ham side as a teenager, Rice's career has stuttered and his side have found themselves locked in a relegation battle. He's an England international and obviously a good player, but how he is an upgrade on Chelsea's current squad?


​Kanté is the world's best defensive midfielder, while there's even a case to suggest that Jorginho does that job better than Rice. Yes, the Englishman might boast better numbers, but in a struggling West Ham side, he's always likely to have more defensive work to do than Jorginho.

If you want someone to rotate with Jorginho, then Chelsea have already got that. Billy Gilmour has excelled in that role this season and already looks to have cemented a place in the squad. That's another player ahead of Rice.


You've then got Ethan Ampadu, who has been out on loan with RB Leipzig this season. There are real similarities between both Ampadu and Rice, who are defensive-minded players who are comfortable in midfield as well.


However, if you want your midfielder to be able to pass the ball like Jorginho does, then it's Ampadu all day long. There's another player ahead of Rice.


Don't forget about ​Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount, ​Ross Barkley and ​Mateo Kovačić either. Add them to the other players, and that's now eight players who would be ahead of Rice in the pecking order.

Declan Rice

For too long, we have seen Chelsea bring in players who don't actually make the team better. The worst example is Danny Drinkwater, who landed a £35m switch to Stamford Bridge despite only being good for one year.


Drinkwater wasn't good enough for the squad and has been fighting for his career ever since, and you get the feeling that signing Rice would be the same kind of thing. 


Rice wouldn't play at Chelsea, and instead would sit on the bench and watch his transfer value fade away. It's pointless.


If Rice was cheap, then it might make some sense. Unfortunately, as a 21-year-old England international, he's automatically a £50m+ player. That's the curse the Three Lions put on their players.

Declan Rice

Spending so much on a squad player when there are other positions to address is completely the wrong approach. It's a mistake which Chelsea simply cannot afford to make for much longer.


A source has confirmed to 90min that the ​plan is to spend big on a striker and a centre-back, while a new left-back, goalkeeper and winger are also on the wish list. They are all positions which Chelsea need to improve, but midfield is not.


There's so much work to be done on this Chelsea squad, and Rice wouldn't fix anything. It's the kind of move the old Chelsea would make, but not anymore.


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