Liverpool has been told that West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice could score 15 goals per season.
Speaking to TalkSPORT, former Reds midfielder Danny Murphy suggested that Liverpool should replace Jordan Henderson with the England man.
“When Steven Gerrard came on the scene at Liverpool, he was touted as a number four, a holding midfielder. He ended up being a number 10 and a central midfielder who won games. I think Declan could become the number eight of any side. Can you imagine him on a side with Rodri and De Bruyne,” said Murphy. “Could you imagine him on Liverpool’s side?
“To establish himself in the perfect midfield position with someone doing more of the dogged work for him then yes [he will have to leave West Ham]. Or they bring someone else to do it here. If he was playing ahead of Fabinho and alongside Thiago, and he took Henderson’s place at Liverpool. Imagine him in that role, he’d get you goals.
“Imagine him next to Rodri and De Bruyne.” He’d score 10 or 15 goals for you. He has good feet and a strong shot. He enjoys the little one-twos in the box. I believe he is a dynamic midfielder who, if given more freedom, would score more goals. He could play center-back, but it would be a waste of his talent.”
With Liverpool’s search for some new midfield blood well underway, you’d expect that they’ve taken a good look at Rice.
The West Ham captain could be on the market next summer and would definitely tick quite a few boxes.
His all-action performance at Anfield last week may have turned quite a few Liverpool fans onto the prospect too.
Backing up Murphy’s words, the 23-year-old appeared much more forward-thinking than we’ve seen him in the past. At a club like Liverpool, this kind of progression with the ball would be expected.
Even Fabinho, as the Red’s deepest-lying midfielder, is adept and driving forward with the ball and picking out clever passes.
The signs are there that Rice could certainly do this job capably. Whether a player who’s never scored more than five goals in a season could suddenly double or triple this, is perhaps unlikely.
But if he’s on a team that scores more goals and is given more freedom to roam, he might be able to.
The money involved would undoubtedly be a major stumbling block, as would Rice’s obvious ties to Chelsea. Liverpool, on the other hand, is willing to spend a lot of money on Jude Bellingham. If they miss out on their top target, going all in on Declan seems like a good backup plan.