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West Ham legend Geoff Hurst thinks Manuel Pellegrini will change his mind over Declan Rice
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West Ham legend Geoff Hurst thinks Manuel Pellegrini will change his mind over Declan Rice

West Ham United legend Geoff Hurst believes Manuel Pellegrini will eventually change his mind over young star Declan Rice.

The 20-year-old was a revelation for West Ham playing in a defensive midfield role last season.

Rice was so good he had two countries fighting for his allegiance.

England won that battle and he soon became a starter under Gareth Southgate.

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Rolls Royce Rice

The West Ham enforcer topped the charts as the best defensive midfielder aged under 21 in Europe’s top five leagues.

The Hammers hero was a centre back by trade and first came into the West Ham team in defence.

But Pellegrini has utilised him further forward with resounding success.

Despite that West Ham legend Hurst has told The Daily Star he believes the Chilean will eventually change his mind over Rice and drop him back in as a centre half.

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Hurst believes Pellegrini may change tack over Dec

“He’s been fantastic,” Hurst told The Daily Star.

“People are saying he looks possibly more likely to be groomed as a central defender who can tackle, head, he’s composed at the back.

“That may well be his best spot. 

“If he progresses in that position with his attitudes so far, he’s going to be an outstanding player for this country.”

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Diop and Rice would make a fine pairing, but…

A centre back pairing of Rice and Issa Diop is mouthwatering.

But it would mean West Ham would have to spend big on a capable defensive midfielder.

Pellegrini could also run the risk of losing Rice if he followed Hurst’s advice as the player himself has made it clear he is relishing the midfield role.