Danny Murphy leapt to the defence of West Ham ace Declan Rice, when speaking during an appearance on talkSPORT today.

The 20-year-old Hammers starlet earned his seventh international cap for England last night.

And he was criticised heavily by Roy Keane during the build-up to the match.

England v Montenegro - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

Declan Rice (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

The Irish pundit seems to love being overly critical. And considering just how good Rice has been for West Ham over the past 18 months, Keane’s comments have little substance.

It must be remembered that he is still only 20. The Hammers youngster can obviously still improve, but the criticism aimed at him seems totally unfair.

And Murphy made a point of defending Rice, when speaking during an appearance on talkSPORT today (November 18th, 10:20):

Watford v Tottenham Hotspur

Danny Murphy (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

“I do think he went over the top. Declan’s a wonderful player. He’s 20-years-old. For the majority of the last season and a half he’s been their [West Ham’s] best player and has progressed more than anyone thought he would, very quickly. That suggests to me he does have football intelligence.”

Murphy went on to say:

 

“He’s gonna have good and bad games, it’s inevitable at 20 years of age. I think it’s a little bit harsh. I do think his positional play is good, and I do think he spots danger and tracks runners very, very well. I think Declan’s got a super future ahead of him.”

Murphy is spot on.

How can Keane be so critical of someone who has learned and developed so quickly in such a short period of time?

Rice is clearly an elite player in the making. Could Keane still be bitter that the West Ham youngster swapped the Republic of Ireland for England? It is very possible.

The Hammers ace just needs to focus on playing football and improving every day. And if he does that, he will undoubtedly go on to prove Keane and all his other critics wrong.

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