Rice: I’d love to be involved against my old club Chelsea


Declan Rice is hoping to see his name on the teamsheet when Manuel Pellegrini selects his starting XI to face his former club Chelsea on Sunday afternoon.

For Rice, who hails from a Chelsea-supporting family and who spent a number of seasons with the Blues as a schoolboy before joining West Ham United at the age of 16, the fixture is a special one.

And the teenager, who made an impressive return to the side in last weekend’s 3-1 win at Everton, is therefore naturally eager to start against the Premier League leaders.

Chelsea at home is a massive derby and we’re going to be fired up for it

Declan Rice

“One hundred per cent I’d love to be involved,” confirmed the No41, whose hilarious Camera Phone Roulette can be seen on this page. “The manager sees different things for different games but to play against Chelsea would be special.

“We got a great point away there last season. They’re doing well as well but, with that result, we’re going in with momentum and we want to win the game.

“Chelsea at home is a massive derby and we’re going to be fired up for it.”

For Rice, returning to Premier League duty last weekend was a welcome distraction from the speculation over his international future that has been debated widely over the past few weeks.

Wherever that future may lay, the youngster simply wants to concentrate on playing well for the Hammers.

“There have been lots of questions asked of me recently in the media and the papers, but I just want to play my football and enjoy myself and you could see I had a smile back on my face last Sunday,” he said.

“That’s when I’m happiest, when I’m playing on a football pitch and we’re winning. The feeling after with the lads is such a great moment. I had many of them last year and I just want to keep on going now.”