West Ham legend Tony Cottee has revealed that Declan Rice has what it takes to reach the top.
The former Hammers forward claims that games will get more challenging for the midfielder with time.
Opponents are fully aware of his quality now and they will show him more respect. Rice must overcome those challenges.
Cottee’s comments certainly make a lot of sense. This has been Rice’s breakout season and he will need to play better and work harder in order to sustain this level next year.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Cottee said: “Declan is doing everything right at the moment, though. He is performing consistently well on the pitch, we are running out of superlatives to describe his development, and I’m sure he will go from strength to strength. He will notice that the approach of his opponents towards him may be different from now on – he will naturally earn more respect and with that comes greater scrutiny and attention. Other players will attempt to put him off his game, but that is all part of his development and learning. To use an analogy, your career as a footballer is like climbing a mountain. You have different stations and obstacles on your way up, and how you navigate those obstacles determines how quickly and smoothly you can reach the summit. Declan is still in the early stages of his climb, and there will be difficult tests and challenges ahead for him, but everything I have seen of him so far makes me very confident that he will make it to the very top.”
The midfielder has been in sensational form this season and he will be looking to finish the season strongly with the Londoners now.
Declan Rice is arguably one of the best young players around Europe right now and he has all the tools to develop into a West Ham legend.
He will be delighted with the words of praise from Tony Cottee.