Jack Wilshere has asked whether there’s a better defensive midfielder in the world than West Ham United star Declan Rice right now. The pair played together at the Hammers between 2018-2020, after Wilshere’s contract ran out at Arsenal, with whom he’d represented since the age of nine.
Whilst Wilshere’s career has been riddled with unfortunate injuries, Rice is beginning to become a worldwide star. As well as establishing himself as one of England’s most important players, the 23-year-old has impressed as captain of West Ham – in place of Mark Noble, who is retiring at the end of the season.
His performances have helped the Hammers book a place in the quarter-final of the Europa League, earning a tie with Ligue 1 outfit Lyon. And during the first leg of that encounter, Wilshere took to Twitter to express exactly what he thinks of his former teammate: “Tell me a better DMF than Declan Rice right now? Can’t think of anyone can do what Dec can…” he said.
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That tweet was also followed by a thinking emoji, as the former Arsenal man pondered whether there’s a more rounded defensive midfielder in world football right now. Wilshere then continued by comparing Rice to Barcelona star Sergio Busquets, and he even joked that he’d love for him to sign for Arsenal: “Busquets is the only one 3 or 4 years ago,” he added. “And remember he played in a team that dominated possession in every game. Decs job is harder in this team. He could play in any team in Europe. Fact. Lets hope its Arsenal.”
As he is – at the very least – one of the best in that position, he’s bound to attract plenty of interest in the summer, especially from clubs in the Premier League. Rice, who has three years remaining on his contract, has long been linked with a move to west London instead as Chelsea eye a long-term replacement to French star N’Golo Kante. Manchester City and Manchester United have also been rumoured to be potential destinations. football.london understands that Chelsea’s position is complicated by their ownership situation and, with West Ham holding such a firm valuation, the majority of clubs will not possess sufficient finances to make a reasonable bid.
Nevertheless, he’s still likely to be linked with a move elsewhere and although it’s not a transfer that’s been mooted, Rice is exactly what Arsenal needs, with the Gunners needing to strengthen in the middle of the park. That’s a transfer that’s likely to please Wilshere, who would love to see his former club continue to progress. Whether it could happen is doubtful, but it’s certainly one for Gunners fans to dream about.