January 23, 2021

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William Gallas believes Declan Rice could become ‘top-class’ at Chelsea (Pictures: Getty)

William Gallas believes Declan Rice would be a ‘good signing’ for his former club Chelsea and says the England international could become ‘top-class’ if he makes the move to Stamford Bridge.

Frank Lampard has expressed interest in signing West Ham star Rice, who was released from Chelsea’s academy at the age of 14.

Manchester United have also been linked with the 22-year-old but Rice is said to favour a move to Chelsea as he wants to stay in London.

Asked whether Rice would be a good fit for Chelsea, former Blues defender Gallas told PlayOJO: ‘He’s a good player. For his age, he’s unbelievable.

‘Very strong and technically, he’s almost got everything. For me, he has to leave West Ham to get to the next level because he could be a top-class player.

‘To be a top-class player, he has to train everyday alongside top-class players which is why for me he has to leave West Ham next season.

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‘He looks like he has a strong personality, I think he would be a good signing for Chelsea.’

Speaking last month, Chelsea boss Lampard praised ‘fantastic’ Rice and the way he responded to being released by the club as a teenager.

He said: ‘He’s a fantastic player for West Ham and England, so fair play because his journey after leaving Chelsea and going to West Ham it is a good story to hear. There are lots of those stories for different reasons at whatever level and that shows a strength of character.

‘In terms of our end I don’t think I’d use the word regret. Our academy is one of the best in the world. You look at our first team now at the players we’ve produced that are in or around the first team squad, we’ve got so many.

‘It’s not easy, it’s not an exact science to pick or choose players. But the academy work brilliantly here and bring through a lot of players.

‘Declan Rice, let’s give him personal credit for going and making the great start to his career that he’s had at West Ham.’

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