It’s been an eventful few months for West Ham’s Declan Rice. Scoring his first ever West Ham goal against Arsenal in a 1-0 win, scoring his second in another win at home over Newcastle, donning the new Ireland kit in a ‘Happy Birthday’ tweet from the FAI, switching from Ireland to England, receiving the Young Player of the Year award with Ireland. He’s just turned 20.
Now he’s been picked by Gareth Southgate for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers with England. If Carlsberg did late birthday presents…
What Can Declan Rice Offer England?
Versatility. He’s been playing as a defensive midfielder for West Ham this season, in the number six role if you like, which has drawn comparisons with Bobby Moore, and he’s been a man well ahead of his years. He can also play at centre-back if needed, which he’s done with aplomb at West Ham in the past.
Obviously flattered with being mentioned in the same breath as the legendary Bobby Moore, Declan Rice is keeping his feet firmly on the ground. “I’ve seen comparisons between myself and Bobby Moore. It’s nice to be told there are similarities, but nobody will come close to him — what a player, what a man! Just to be mentioned in the same breath as Bobby is something really special for me. I know I still have a lot to learn. If you’re not learning, you don’t progress.”
Rice probably has a good 15 years left in the game, and if he can reach the standards everyone expects of him, he could well end up being one of the greatest England midfielders of the 21st century. Let’s not get too carried away yet, though. He’s not even played one game yet.
Where Will Rice Fit into England’s System?
Two words, Eric Dier. This may sound controversial, but some would argue that he’s already better than the Tottenham midfielder. Yes, Dier scored a winning penalty against Colombia in the World Cup, but has he really offered much else? He’s put in some half decent displays for England, but he can be found wanting at times.
Rice in the centre of the park, making England tick sounds great, doesn’t it? He’s calm on the ball, can pick a great pass, and will not let anything past him if he can help it.
He’s already molded into a complete midfielder, which has led to West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini stating that there’s nobody better. “He's a complete player,” Pellegrini told journalists. “That is a player who, for me, is the best English holding midfielder. The other important thing is he is trying to learn every day. He's a young player who has just started his career. He must try to continue listening, keep doing the things he does every day, play and get the experience he needs.”
You don’t get much more experience than an England call-up. If he plays any part in the Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic or Montenegro, he’ll only be better for it.
What Does the Future Hold?
Declan Rice has only recently signed a contract extension at West Ham until 2024, but we all know that means nothing these days. It might just add an extra zero onto your transfer fee. Switching to England has certainly helped with that. He’s probably gone from a £15m Irish International to a £60m English wonderkid.
That is music to Gold and Sullivan’s ears. Rice has no intention of leaving his beloved West Ham anytime soon, but with Pep and Manchester City on the lookout to replace aging Brazilian Midfielder Fernandinho in the near future, can West Ham hold onto him? It’s highly unlikely if a big offer comes in.
Rice himself has said that he wants to win titles, and you don’t expect he’ll be doing that with West Ham. “I want to play at the top level throughout my career,” Rice stated. “I want to win trophies, even the Champions League. You have to be ambitious. If not, what’s the point?”
Sorry West Ham fans, but if that doesn’t tell you he’s not hanging around for too long then I don’t know what will. The Hammers fans would not begrudge Rice a move away, but if he can stay and put in 110% until he’s maybe 21 or 22, then he’ll leave with their blessing. If he leaves in the summer having just signed a new contract, then the fans might not be as kind with their words.
Declan Rice Next Club Betting Odds
Rice went from 20/1 to 5/2 with some bookies to move to Manchester City during the January transfer window. That didn’t happen, but it could well be an indication of what we could see in the summer transfer window.
There’s no market at the moment, but as soon as one opens on Rice’s next club after the summer transfer window, Manchester City would be the team to bet on. I can’t see him moving anywhere else in all honesty. It’s either the Etihad or another season at West Ham. Bearing in mind that he’s recently signed a new contract, he could stay in East London until at least January. It would then depend on how West Ham are doing by then as to whether he considers moving or not.
England vs Czech Republic Betting Tip
England/England in the Half Time/Full Time market at 5/6 looks too good to turn down. They’ll want to put on a performance for the home fans, and I don’t see the Czechs troubling England whatsoever. Hence the match result odds of 1/5 for England to win.
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