Declan Rice has opened up about the 'deflating' feeling of being released by Chelsea - but admits everything turned out right when West Ham came calling.
The defender was quoted by the London Evening Standard as he revealed how his switch from the Premier League champions to the Hammers came about after he was let go by the Blues as a 14-year-old.
Rice has worked his way through the youth ranks with West Ham to establish himself in the first team fold, but he explained that he was initially hit for six when Chelsea told him he wouldn't make the grade at Stamford Bridge.
He said: "I was released by Chelsea at 14 years old - I remember it, a Tuesday night.
"When Chelsea let me go it was really deflating. For me, as a youngster, it's all I ever knew - living 10 minutes from the training ground, going to loads of the games."
All was not lost for the young centre-back though. Trials in the days that followed at West Ham and Fulham came to pass, and Rice recalled how he came to the decision to join the Irons over the Cottagers a mere 48 hours after being released.
Declan Rice needs to be starting most games from now on, yes he will make the odd mistake where young but that’s a part of the learning curve. He offers so much more where young & not aged like most of our squad— Tom Down (@TomDown3) January 2, 2018
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He said: "On the Wednesday I was training with Fulham, five minutes from my house, and then on the Thursday I was training with West Ham.
"After one session at both clubs they both wanted me. There was interest from other clubs as well but I made the switch to West Ham.
"I had to change house, change school, so it was a massive decision - and it's paid off. It's one of those where you've just got to pick yourself up and go again."
And what does the 18-year-old, who helped marshall Spurs superstar Harry Kane during the 1-1 London derby last Thursday, think Chelsea would be wondering about him now?
Rice added: "I think some of the boys at Chelsea might be thinking 'wow! Look at Dec doing well for West Ham'."