Declan Rice has suggested he could change positions at West Ham United in the future – or rather, revert back to a a role he once knew very well.
The 20-year-old has quietly established himself as one of the Premier League’s better holding midfield players in the space of the past year.
Rice has proven to be an effective defensive shield for the likes of Angelo Ogbonna, Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena.
Before his days as a holding midfielder though, Rice was a central defender.
He told the Football Ramble podcast: “It’s a tough one. Because of my ability on the ball, I can play left foot, right foot, I’m big and strong so I can get about.
“I’m naturally two-footed, I worked on it since I was a kid.
“Getting around the pitch easy, I’ve got a defensive mindset. I think when the manager first came in and he saw me in that role, screening, talking to people, getting the ball, I think he really liked me in there.
“I see myself as a midfielder for now, for sure. Maybe as I got older but because I’m so good passing the ball, left foot, right foot, I’ve got the pace and the strength I could see myself as a centre-back in the future.”
TBR’s view – Rice has superb potential at holding midfield
Rice is certainly in the correct position for right now.
His calmness on the ball and positioning are two very strong attributes of his, and he promises to be fine holding midfield when he reaches his peak.
Perhaps when he is the wrong side of 30 is when whichever manager he is playing under should have the position change talk with him.