Tuchel on West Ham midfielder Rice: I know he's a Chelsea boy | OneFootball

Tuchel on West Ham midfielder Rice: I know he's a Chelsea boy

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel admits he's a big fan of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

The former Chelsea academy starlet left the club as a 14-year-old, but his former club have long-planned to bring him back to Stamford Bridge, with a fresh move potentially coming at the end of the season.

Tuchel refused to criticise the decision to release Rice, who has gone on to become a pivotal player for England, but no attempt to hide his admiration for the midfielder.

“It happens at every single club in the world that sometimes players get released in one moment and they have their career on a different way, so this is a pretty normal thing," said Tuchel.

“I am absolutely aware that he is a Chelsea boy and he comes through the academy and he is very close to our guys.

“He's 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."

Tuchel added: “Declan is an important member of the England team, so it speaks for itself. Very strong in build-up, very intelligent in passing and, of course, they are quality players.

“On top of it, the two midfielders represent pretty much what West Ham is all about, they have the heart to play this game to the full extent and they are very good characters in sportsmanship. They play with passion, the whole team plays with passion, they never give up and there's a lot of quality behind it."

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