The Hammers boss says that he wasn’t impressed with Rice’s display against Chelsea because he has come to expect a high level of performance from the youngster.
The 19-year-old was outstanding for West Ham against the Blues as they managed a 0-0 draw at the London Stadium on Sunday.
Rice, who can also play in central defence, started in the defensive midfield position and was superb with his performance.
He was excellent with his positioning, and made one tackle, five clearances and four interceptions during the game, according to whoscored.com.
Rice attempted 28 passes and played out five long balls as well. It was an impressive performance overall which helped the Hammers keep a clean sheet.
When asked to comment on Rice’s performance, Pellegrini said: “Impressed? No, because I see Declan working every day of the week and I know the way he does it.
“He has a lot of intensity, he’s great, he’s learning a lot about what to do, his position, and I said at the beginning of the season he could be a very good centre-back or a very good holding midfielder. He’s taken his chance and I’m very happy for him.”
Rice was dropped from the starting lineup after the opening day performance against Liverpool.
He returned to the starting line-up against Everton and was impressive during the game. The youngster will be buoyed by his manager’s glowing reviews about him.
West Ham will face League Two side Macclesfield Town in their next match on Wednesday.