West Ham ace Declan Rice earned his fifth international cap for England against Kosovo last night.

The 20-year-old performed admirably, and despite one mistake that cost his side a goal, he answered his critics.

It seems as though not everyone was impressed with the Hammers midfielder’s display, however.

England v Bulgaria - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

Declan Rice (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Sky Sports delivered their player ratings after the match. And surprisingly, they gave the West Ham man a 6/10 – the joint second worst of any England player.

Here’s what they had to say on Rice’s display:

Promising, but far from the finished article. He put in another solid showing, protecting his back four with great authority and breaking up play at key moments to start England counter attacks that define Southgate’s philosophy. One of his crunching tackles in midfield set Sterling on his way to set Sancho up for England’s third goal. However, the West Ham man was at fault for Kosovo’s second goal – a lapse in concentration with his passing that was punished.

Now that summary does seem to be incredibly harsh.

He did, after all, initiate England’s third goal with a crunching challenge in midfield.

The West Ham youngster is clearly talented, and possesses all of the attributes needed to succeed, but it seems as though he is being singled out for unfair criticism.

England v Bulgaria - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 07: Declan Rice of England controls the ball during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier match between England and Bulgaria at Wembley Stadium on September 07, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)

Here are his stats from last night:

91% pass accuracy
5/6 long balls successful
4 Clearances
 
1 Shot blocked
3 interceptions
2/3 ground duels won
2/2 Tackles won
1 counter goal assist
Now, it is hard to suggest that those numbers are anything other than impressive.
And it seems as though Sky Sports have judged his display against Kosovo extremely harshly.
It will now be up to Rice to prove his critics wrong over the next few matches for England.
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