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Best in Europe statistic proves West Ham and now England have a real player in Declan Rice

West Ham United fans already know they have a top player on their hands in Declan Rice but these statistics prove it.

The 20-year-old midfielder has already made 59 appearances for West Ham and has excelled for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

Indeed he is fast becoming the club’s most indispensable player.

In August the Londoner said he needed time to decide his international future.

And he did just that on Wednesday announcing he is committing his future to England rather than the Republic of Ireland.

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‘An extremely difficult decision’

Rice had already settled his club future by signing a new six-year deal with West Ham on Christmas Day.

And now his international future is sorted too. Rice released a lengthy statement on Twitter explaining his thinking.

“This has been an extremely difficult decision,” he said.

“I consider myself to be of mixed nationality. I have equal respect for both England and Ireland and therefore the national team I choose to represent is not a clear-cut, simple selection.

“Ultimately, it is a personal decision I have made with my heart and my head, based on what I believe is best for my future.”

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Cynics question England chances, stats say otherwise

Cynics have questioned whether Rice will get as many chances to play for England as he would have for Ireland.

But new statistics prove that the Hammers truly have a class act on their hands and now England do too.

Rice has made more tackles (60) and more interceptions (36) than any other midfielder under the age of 21 in Europe’s top five leagues this season.

Statistics prove Rice

As if that wasn’t impressive enough he is bossing it in the Premier League too.

The defensive midfielder has also made the third most recoveries in the league this season with 197. That’s just five off Wolves star Ruben Neves (202) and 12 short of Leicester’s Wilfried Ndidi (209).

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Rice tailor made for England role

They are the kind of statistics Gareth Southgate won’t be able to ignore.

And England are crying out for a player to make that crucial position their own with the likes of Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson failing to impress.

They are also the kind of statistics which make Europe’s elite sit up and take notice.

That will be West Ham’s next problem. Ensuring he stays in East London long term.

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