The dichotomy between two of West Ham’s 20-year-old midfielders is significant.
But tonight, Declan Rice and Sead Haksabanovic will share the same pitch. England face Montenegro at Wembley in the Euro 2020 qualifiers and the two Hammers team-mates could line up against each other.
While Rice has gone from strength to strength since his England breakthrough, Haksabanovic has taken a very different route. Rice is starting some games for England, one of the first names on the teamsheet at West Ham and is reportedly a £70m target for Manchester United (as per The Mirror).
In contrast, Haksabanovic has almost been forgotten about. He has spent the past 18 months on loan with Malaga and IFK Norrkoping but he is starting to hit the headlines again. Tonight could be his perfect chance to prove a point to West Ham.
Haksabanovic can send reminder to West Ham
Wembley presents Haksabanovic with a stage to show exactly what he can do. If the Montenegro international is selected tonight, he will be out to demonstrate his skill against some talented England players.
Haksabanovic has enjoyed a stunning recent run of form in the Norrkoping side. The 20-year-old, who plays on the wing, scored six goals in his last 11 matches to nearly fire his side into Europe.
The skilful winger also provided eight assists last season and was starting to find some consistency by the end of the campaign. This gives Manuel Pellegrini some food for thought.
West Ham are lacking some creativity and pace in midfield. Haksabanovic could be a surprise candidate to turn things around in East London. This is why tonight is a major chance for him to show he is good enough to make it at West Ham.