West Ham United fans have known it for some time but now the rest of the Premier League is finding out just how special Declan Rice is.
Rice has become one of the most indispensable players at West Ham. Indeed he is integral to Manuel Pellegrini’s side in central midfield.
At just 20 years of age Rice has already amassed more than 60 appearances from the Hammers.
So good has he been both England and the Republic of Ireland were fighting over his talents.
Life is nice for Rolls Royce Rice
England won that particular battle. As a result Rice has been hogging the headlines ever since.
Winning praise from all corners, he has been likened to greats like Roy Keane, Javier Mascherano and Sergio Busquets. Indeed Rice’s teammate Manuel Lanzini – who has played with Mascherano – believes Rice will be better than his countryman.
The only person not overly impressed by Rice it seems is former Tottenham player and manager Tim Sherwood.
That’s according to ex Hammers academy graduate turned pundit Matt Holland.
Failed manager Sherwood mocks Rice hype
Speaking on talkSPORT, Holland said Sherwood – himself a pundit after a failed managerial career – had questioned Rice’s quality in a conversation between the pair.
“I was having a chat with Tim Sherwood about players in academies and he’s worked with a lot of young players at Tottenham and we were talking about Declan Rice and I was saying what a good player he is and he said ‘Yea he is, he’s good, but really what does he do?’,” Holland said on talkSPORT.
‘Every club should be able to produce a player like Rice’
“(Sherwood added) He’s in the middle of midfield, he’s got good energy, he keeps it simple, he’s not going to beat six men and put it in the top corner, he’s not that type of player.
“He (Sherwood) said ‘every academy should be able to produce someone like Declan Rice.”
It seems to be lost on Sherwood just how good Rolls Royce Rice is.
It also seems lost on Sherwood that it takes different types of player to have the right balance to a team and doing your job to such a high standard consistently in a crucial position is what helps the team win games.
Perhaps that is why the much-mocked pundit’s managerial career was such a flop.