Lampard tried to bring both Bellingham AND Rice to Stamford Bridge

Former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard reveals he tried to bring both Jude Bellingham AND Declan Rice to Stamford Bridge, as he backs the 19-year-old midfielder to shine at the World Cup ahead of £130m transfer saga next summer

  • Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice both made World Cup debuts on Monday
  • Frank Lampard revealed that he tried to sign them during his time at Chelsea
  • The Everton boss praised Bellingham as having ‘experience beyond his years’
  • Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for all the latest news and updates from Qatar
  • Follow Sportsmail’s live coverage of England’s opening World Cup game vs Iran 
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

Frank Lampard tried to sign England midfielders Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham in his time at Chelsea, the Everton boss revealed today.

23-year-old Rice and 19-year-old Bellingham both made their World Cup debuts on Monday in England’s first match of the Qatar tournament against Iran.

Despite their youth, both players have established themselves at club level, with Rice racking up over 200 West Ham appearances and Bellingham the centre of a £130 million transfer race.

Frank Lampard tried to sign Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice during his time at Chelsea

Rice has become a key part of both the West Ham and England teams over the past few years

Lampard was full of praise for both players as he spoke in Qatar on Monday. In quotes carried by The Sun, he said of Bellingham: ‘He’s crucial for England – an outstanding talent.

‘He’s more experienced and talented than his years show – to do what he’s done at the top level already.

‘I tried to sign him when I was at Chelsea actually – unfortunately it didn’t happen but I wanted to sign him and Declan Rice.’

The former Chelsea man felt Southgate would rely on the two young midfielders during the tournament, as he explained: ‘That’ll be England’s midfield probably during this tournament.’

Lampard praised Bellingham as being ‘more experienced and talented than his years show’

‘There’s a lot of expectation so we’ll have to be a bit steady with him but the way he’s played and performed, he has a real maturity about him.

‘Not much will faze him so I expect him to go and have a good tournament. It’s a talented squad and we should appreciate and congratulate Gareth on what he’s done in the job.

 ‘We’re all England fans and we want to go a long way. If we build momentum, get through the group then I’m sure they have the talent to live up to expectations.’

Chelsea now find themselves lacking midfield depth after an injury to N’Golo Kante, and fans may be ruing the chance they had to sign two such exciting players.

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