Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has praised the ability and work rate of West Ham’s Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek.
The two Hammers players helped guide their team to a hard-fought 3-2 win over the Blues at the London Stadium on Saturday, and Tuchel reserved special praise for the pair:
“He’s (Rice) a very strong player and in general, I am absolutely impressed by [Tomas] Soucek and him, what they do since I came into the Premier League. What they do for West Ham. They are real helpers on the pitch, they have an incredible volume both of them. They take responsibility for high pressing, for deep defending, for filling the gaps on the wings, for deep build-up, for goals from set-pieces. Both of them are simply doing everything.”
While Soucek is unlikely to be a transfer target for Chelsea, Rice has been heavily linked with a return to the club where he spent a number of years in their youth academy.
Tuchel’s expression of admiration will be a concern, although West Ham do hold all the cards when it comes to Rice’s future.
Not only is the England international tied down to a contract that can be extended until 2025, the Irons could well satisfy Rice’s ambitions on the pitch too.
The 22-year-old is believed to be keen on playing in the Champions League, and with David Moyes’ side sitting fourth after 15 games, there is every chance they could be playing in Europe’s top competition next season.