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After a season where Chelsea was unable to make any addition to the squad due to the transfer ban, former Blues boss Frank Lampard splashed over £200m on new signings in last summer’s transfer window.
Malang Sarr and Thiago Silva joined Chelsea on a free transfer, but Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and Edouard Mendy cost around a combined fee of £222m.
Despite the outlay, Lampard was still bent on signing a new defensive midfielder, as he wasn’t too keen on Jorginho in the deep line playmaker role, and he used N’Golo Kante in a more advanced position.
Rumours at the time strongly linked Chelsea with a move for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, and Lampard has revealed how much he wanted the midfielder at the club.
He said: “Now you see him in the England squad and quickly you don’t see an England team without Declan in it.
“We are fortunate to have him in England, West Ham are fortunate to have him. He’s a leader and it is clear that he’s destined for great things. I have probably given it away with how I spoke about him but I think it’s common knowledge that I was a big fan of his.
“It didn’t happen for various reasons, but we brought in a lot of players in the summer. But I was a big fan of him. For understandable reasons, West Ham know the player that they have on their hands.
“I don’t want Declan to be in an uncomfortable position through this because all I see from him is absolute performance and desire to play for West Ham. They gave him the chance there and the choice will be Declan’s as the years go ahead, but his performances are great to watch.”