Gareth Southgate spoke to reporters last night and spoke very highly about West Ham ace Declan Rice, as quoted by the club’s official website.

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The 21-year-old has been an absolute revelation for the Hammers since making his first-team debut for the club three years ago.

He is undoubtedly one of West Ham’s most important players. If not our most important.

England v Denmark - UEFA Nations League

Declan Rice (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

Rice was linked with a big money move to Chelsea throughout the entirety of the summer transfer window. 90 Min claimed that Frank Lampard told his superiors to pay ‘whatever it takes’ to bring him to Stamford Bridge from east London.

But David Moyes managed to keep the England international at the London Stadium. And that really is a great thing for the Hammers.

Gareth Southgate spoke to reporters last night, and was effusive in his praise for Rice, as quoted by WHUFC.com:

Holland v England -UEFA Nations league

Gareth Southgate and Declan Rice (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)

“With us we are delighted, pleased with how he is developing. We have leaders who are older players, but he is a younger one. He is a good professional, wants to learn, wants to work for the team, digs in for the team, is getting more vocal on the pitch. He has the respect of the rest of the group. When young players like him have the respect of the group because of the way they play, it is a significant step forward for them. You can tell that in training with the way players are happy to give them the ball, and the respect they show. He has huge potential because he has a great mentality and desire to keep improving.”

 

Southgate is spot on. Rice has always demonstrated great maturity in spite of his tender years.

The 21-year-old was superb for England against Denmark last night. And he clearly has a great future in the game.

We must consider ourselves so lucky to have a player like Rice at West Ham. Because they don’t come around too often.

Let’s just hope that we manage to keep hold of the talented youngster for many more years to come.

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