Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is apparently a huge fan of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, but that won’t stop Manchester United from sending scouts around the globe over the next 11 or so months to identify a new defensive midfielder.
You will always meet a few with contrasting opinions when it comes to Rice – but, for the most part, it stems from West Ham’s ridiculous valuation of the player. United should definitely seek out cheaper alternatives who could anchor the midfield.
Rice, 22, is becoming a fantastic player for both West Ham and England. He was one of Gareth Southgate’s key players as the Three Lions reached their first major tournament final since the 1966 World Cup.
Along with Scott McTominay, Rice could help form a towering, formidable midfield partnership, with both players capable of playing disciplined roles or bombing on.
According to ESPN, Manchester United scouts have been instructed to identify alternative options to Declan Rice as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seeks a defensive midfielder.
Moreover, when United didn’t sign a midfielder in the summer transfer window, it felt like Rice was priced out of a move away from West Ham.
Amid the club’s reported pursuit for Rice, here is how the bookmakers are pricing-up his chances of a January move;
Chelsea – 7/1
Manchester United – 8/1
Liverpool – 16/1
Manchester City – 16/1
Wherever you think Rice is heading next, it’s worth checking out the 888sport promo code to ensure you get the best odds at all times.
Can Ole switch it up with his current crop of players?
This may be considered scraping at the barrel for some of you, and there’s little room for experimenting this season after crashing out of the Carabao Cup.
Every week on the podcast we are asked about Victor Lindelof playing as a defensive midfielder. At first, I laughed it off – but more questions started to flood in asking the very same.
Could a position switch end up being productive for the Swede?
Raphael Varane’s arrival has placed Lindelof down to third choice centre-back and he will be sitting on the bench most weeks. That is unless he can find an alternative route into the team, which wouldn’t be a bad idea in a time when we are crying out for something extra in midfield.
His defensive skills and reading of the game could make this a tempting solution to explore, but I don’t see the games for us to trial it unless we are hit with a number of injuries in midfield. I’m sure it is a role Lindelof has played in training but that’s completely different to competitive football.
Phil Jones is another in Lindelof’s position, albeit further down the pecking order as fifth choice centre-back. He is now finally fit again and can work towards contributing to the team, something he hasn’t done in 20 months.
It’s up to Jones to prove himself to the coaches in training because he won’t get the minutes he had hoped for in the League Cup this season.
Youth player Martin Svidersky, 18, who currently plays for the U21s, is making a name for himself and could be one to watch for the future. He recently played the full 90 minutes against Bradford – winning six out of his seven ground duels and registering three tackles. A solid contribution to his team’s clean sheet.