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Numbers available to Declan Rice at Chelsea

Sports Mole looks at the shirt numbers available for West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice should he make the switch to Chelsea.

While Chelsea have already been proactive in the transfer market ahead of next season, it would come as a surprise if more fresh faces did not arrive at Stamford Bridge over the coming months.

At a time when the Blues need to improve the defensive side of their game, West Ham United's Declan Rice is being linked with a switch across London.

Much could depend on whether the Hammers are able to avoid relegation to the Championship, a fate which would leave the club needing to sell their most prized asset.

Nevertheless, with few clubs being able to afford the 21-year-old due to the coronavirus pandemic, a transfer to Chelsea is arguably the most realistic option on the table.

Here, Sports Mole looks at the numbers likely to be available to Rice should he make the move to the West Londoners before the end of the next transfer window.

Declan Rice in action for West Ham on January 22, 2020© Reuters

Although Rice has continued to wear the number 41 shirt at the London Stadium, he would likely be provided with a more traditional number for a player in his position should he sign for Chelsea.

As it stands, number six, a shirt usually designated for a centre-back or defensive midfielder, is vacant, and Rice taking on that jersey appears to be a natural fit.

If Andreas Christensen or Jorginho are sold over the coming months, the number four and five shirts would become available and be regarded as suitable options for Rice.

West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice pictured in January 2020© Reuters

Realistically, those three numbers are the only numbers which will come under consideration, but Rice will still have other shirts at his disposal.

The currently-vacant number 16 shirt is an outside option, as is the 41 which he has worn during his time in the first team at West Ham.

Nevertheless, with no other players expected to take on number six before his possible arrival, everything points to Rice occupying that jersey.

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West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice pictured in January 2020
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