Tony Cottee says West Ham’s Declan Rice should play in defence

West Ham legend Tony Cottee has urged Declan Rice to play as a centre back.

The West Ham midfielder has been in fine form this season but Cottee believes that he could be even better in defence.


“I personally think he’ll slot back into that centre-half position,” Cottee told talkSPORT journalist Ian Abrahams, as quoted on his Instagram.

“It’s a good learning position for him [in midfield]. You’ve got to get on the half turn, you’ve got to know what’s going on in the game. And then when you drop back into that centre-half position, I think he’ll be an even better player.”

It will be interesting to see how the fans feel about these comments.

Rice has shown that he is a very good defensive midfielder and his skillset is well suited to that role. Moving him in defence would be a gamble.

Also, it would weaken West Ham in the midfield. The likes of Diop and Balbuena are good centre backs and dropping them to make way for Rice would be a poor decision.

Rice has established himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in the league and he will improve with time.

Pellegrini will not want to hamper his development by playing him in different positions and therefore Cottee’s wish is unlikely to come true anytime soon.