Frank Lampard said Chelsea have no regrets missing out on the talents of Declan Rice, who was fired from his academy at the age of 14 and joined West Ham. Rice has become one of the most skilled young English players of his generation and is likely to irritate the home team when Chelsea face West Ham on Monday night.
“He’s a fantastic player for West Ham and England so a fair game because his journey to get out of Chelsea and go to West Ham is a good story because there are a lot of those stories for a variety of reasons, no matter which one Level and that shows a strength of character, ”said Lampard. “From our end I would certainly not use the word ‘regret’.”
Rice, who made his 100th Premier League start against Crystal Palace on Wednesday, has taken responsibility for taking over the captaincy by reaching new levels in his game this season. While Lampard praised the 21-year-old’s resilience for navigating a different route, he noted the strength of the talent the Chelsea Academy has preserved.
“Our academy is one of the best in the world,” said the manager. “You are now looking at our first team, which players we produced in and around the first team. We have so many. It is not easy. Selecting players is not an exact science, but the academy has done an excellent job here and has produced a lot of good players. Declan Rice has done himself the privilege of making a great start to his career at West Ham. “
Chelsea will try to score two straight defeats after 17 unbeaten games and many eyes will be on Timo Werner who has not scored in eight consecutive games after a promising start.
“There has been no striker in the history of the world who has managed to score a goal in a long career,” said Lampard. “There is no problem on this front.”