Frank Lampard’s alternative options as West Ham declare Declan Rice is staying

Don’t wait 30 years – sign up for our daily football email newsletter today!

Chelsea have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Declan Rice, with West Ham assistant Alan Irvine insisting the midfielder will “absolutely” be staying at the club this season.

Frank Lampard is a huge admirer of Rice, 21, and wants to lure him to Stamford Bridge before next week’s transfer deadline.

Yet when asked if he expects the England youngster to stay at West Ham, Irvine told reporters: “Oh absolutely. Declan is extremely happy at the club.”

The Blues therefore look set to miss out on Rice this summer – so who else can Lampard rely on in the holding midfield position this season?

N’Golo Kante

At the back end of last season, Lampard enjoyed success by deploying Kante as the anchor of a three-man midfield, with Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount typically positioned either side of him.

Though in an attempt to accommodate new recruit Kai Havertz, this season he has switched to a 4-2-3-1 and played the £73million man as a No.10.

Chelsea were all over the place in that setup away at West Brom on Saturday, falling three goals behind inside 27 minutes at the Hawthorns.

However, after tweaking his formation at half-time and placing Kante just in front of the back four, the Blues regained control of the match in the second half and eventually fought their way back to 3-3.

If a deal for Rice fails to materialise, Lampard should stick with a 4-3-3 and keep the Frenchman as his lone midfield anchor.


Should he instead remain adamant on using a two-man midfield to fit Havertz into his most natural position, the Italy international is Lampard’s best option to partner Kante.

While he has been linked with a move to Arsenal over the past week, Jorginho’s tendency to sit deep and control play as a Regista means he still has an important role to play at Stamford Bridge, as it allows Kante to get around the pitch and cover ground as a box-to-box midfielder.

Kovacic’s desire to make galloping runs forward with the ball means Chelsea are often left exposed when he is selected in a two-man midfield with Kante.

  • Chelsea target Declan Rice talks ‘playing for the badge’ after West Ham thump Wolves

Billy Gilmour

Somewhat of a forgotten man in west London, Gilmour will feel like a new signing for Lampard when he eventually returns from a knee injury later this year.

The tenacious Scot burst onto the scene at Chelsea last season and showed plenty of promise in the deep-lying midfield role, with Roy Keane branding his man-of-the-match display against Liverpool “world class”.

When he is back fit and firing, Gilmour will be the perfect backup option for Kante in a 4-3-3 setup.

Get the latest transfer news straight into your inbox!

Want to be on the ball with Jadon Sancho to Manchester United updates? Or perhaps you're a Chelsea fan wondering who on earth could join next?

Well then sign up for the brilliant new Daily Star Sport email newsletter!

From the latest transfer news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox.

How do you sign up?

It only takes a matter of seconds.

Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article and hit 'subscribe'.

And that's it, job done. You'll receive an email with all of the top news stories every single morning.

You can find out more information on our email newsletter on this link here.

Boubakary Soumare

While a deal is highly unlikely heading into the final week of the transfer window, Chelsea have reportedly turned their attention to Lille ace Soumare as a cheaper alternative to Rice.

The Mail claim Lampard is keen to sign the 21-year-old, who operates primarily as a defensive midfielder. His arrival would almost certainly spell the end for Jorginho at the club.

  • Frank Lampard
  • Chelsea FC
  • West Ham FC

Source: Read Full Article

Create Account

Log In Your Account