West Ham youngster Declan Rice keen to impress

West Ham United youngster Declan Rice

West Ham youngster Declan Rice is keen to impress manager Manuel Pellegrini during his club’s pre-season.

The Republic of Ireland international is regarded as one of the best up and coming talents in English football and managed an impressive 26 appearances in the top-flight last season.

Under former Hammers managers Slaven Bilic and then David Moyes, Rice earned regular game time in the right centre-back position.

He is aware that he will now have to start afresh under the new management to prove himself once again.

The 19-year-old told the West Ham website: “It’s really good to be back,” he began. “After a positive end to last season, then going away for some international games and obviously the incoming of the new manager, it’s really good to be back and I can’t wait for a few more days out here.

“It’s a new manager coming in and I think everyone has got a fresh start under him. I can’t wait to show him what I’m about and what I can do.

“I played 32 or 33 times last year and I want to carry on this year. I want to keep playing games and keep improving and learning.”

The Hammers will be aiming to a finish on the top-half of the standings this season after flirting with relegation last season.

There will be heavy expectations on Pellegrini who is a former Premier League winner with Manchester City.

The Hammers are set to play against Swiss Challenge League Cup FC Winterthur on Saturday and will also play against Wycombe Wanderers, Preston North End, Aston Villa and Ipswich Town before they start the Premier League against Liverpool on Saturday 11th August.