Despite the best efforts of Frank Lampard, Declan Rice will not be a Chelsea player. West Ham’s captain will join Arsenal this summer in a club-record deal. Expectations are high in North London, with Rice an incredibly gifted player in any midfield role.

It was only a matter of time until he went to one of the top English sides. Over the years, rumors have circulated that Chelsea were one of the teams interested in signing Rice.

However, they did not follow through with their desire, and the Gunners have stepped up their pursuit.

At this time, it is commonly believed that Arsenal will make Rice their all-time record acquisition for a fee of roughly $131 million.

Rice had great ties with Chelsea

For a long time, it was widely expected that Rice would join Chelsea. This is because he was formerly a member of the club’s youth program. His bond with Mason Mount was known to be excellent.

Now, even Frank Lampard, a former manager at Stamford Bridge, says he really wanted to bring him back to West London.

What did Frank Lampard say about Rice?

“Maybe some players left during that period, and maybe in terms of recruitment you wanted to bring in some players as the future. When I was at Chelsea before I wanted to bring in Declan Rice. I was like ‘this kid’s going to be the captain of Chelsea for the next 10 years. It didn’t happen, anyway, it is hard to dissect people’s work.”

“The biggest thing about the low standards was the size of the squad. The motivation was tough with players outside the Champions League squad. In football, it is a challenge even with 20 or so players. Chelsea’s squad was so big that I couldn’t criticise individual players for dropping standards.

“I think that’s understood now [by the owners]. You see that in six, seven or eight players leaving. The intentions were certainly good. They haven’t signed bad players. The idea of signing them all at the same time maybe looks a bit excitable but there is a long game and plan.”

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