Joe Cole has offered high words of praise for West Ham United and England midfielder Declan Rice.

West Ham ace Declan Rice, 24, has been the standout performer at the London Stadium over the past three years or so.

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The West Ham United ace is now an integral part of the England national team as well. He really is exceptional at what he does, breaking up play and spreading the ball to his more attacking teammates.

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However, Dec recently received criticism from Graeme Souness and Roy Keane for his lack of goals and assists.

It’s strange to criticise a holding midfielder for his lack of output in the final third. I can’t remember this same energy for Claude Makelele can you?

And Joe Cole has highlighted exactly that…

Joe Cole makes big Declan Rice claim

The Hammers ace is the best player David Moyes has at his disposal and it could be argued that he’s one of the very first names on Gareth Southgate‘s team-sheet as well.

He is obviously very highly respected in the game and Cole defended Rice after recent criticisms from Souness and Keane, when speaking on Channel 4 yesterday (Sunday March 26th, 4:49pm):

Joe Cole makes big Declan Rice claim
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“Going back to Declan and the criticism he’s got, Stevie’s right. He is a specialist in there. I played with Claude Makelele and he never scored, never assisted, but he’s still one of the best midfielders I ever played with because he played a role. Now Dec plays a role. Any other country in world football, he starts for them. He’s that good. He’s a fantastic player.”

Declan Rice is a superb player but that last claim from Joe Cole is a very big one indeed.

He’s basically saying that he gets in ahead of either Eduardo Camavinga or Aurelien Tchouameni for France. Or Casemiro for Brazil, Rodri for Spain or even Joshua Kimmich for Germany!

I’m not saying that the West Ham midfielder wouldn’t get in those sides, but he surely wouldn’t be a shoo-in like he is for England would he?

Either way, Declan Rice is a fantastic footballer and will undoubtedly go on to achieve great things in the game. This constant criticism of him about his lack of goals and assists just doesn’t hold any weight. And Rice will undoubtedly end up as one of the very best holding midfielders of his generation, just like Makelele before him.


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