West Ham United defensive midfielder Declan Rice earned his first England call-up earlier this week following an outstanding campaign in the Hammers shirt, and the club and fans couldn’t be more proud of one of their own.
The 20-year-old has featured in 27 Premier League games for Manuel Pellegrini’s side this term, scoring twice, and is arguably the best English player in his position at the moment.
Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate would have very glad when Rice switched allegiances to England having represented the Republic of Ireland at youth level and in three friendly games.
West Ham skipper Mark Noble is hoping the youngster can follow in the footsteps of club great Bobby Moore, but he believes the two shouldn’t be compared at the moment.
“Declan’s only 20 — younger than the great Bobby Moore was when he made his senior international debut — but there is no chance he will freeze or be starstruck,” Noble wrote in the Evening Standard
“Any comparisons with Moore are unfair as we will only be able to judge the two when Declan retires. Bobby lifted the World Cup and won 108 caps for his country.
“Pele said he was the greatest defender he played against — and it was an entirely different era. Bobby is one of the greatest England players ever — Declan is just starting out on his international career.”
Moore is a West Ham and Three Lions legend after his achievements for both club and country, and Rice will have to keep improving steadily if he is to come close to matching the heroics of the World Cup winner anytime soon.