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Chris Sutton makes claim about West Ham midfielder Declan Rice

Chris Sutton has claimed that West Ham’s Declan Rice must start for England in this summer’s Euro 2020 competition, plus he’s ranked him as alongside the Premier League’s very best at protecting a back four.

Rice, who earns £60,000-a-week, was unsurprisingly named in Gareth Southgate’s 33-man preliminary England squad that he announced on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old Hammers midfielder looks like one of the nailed-on members of the Three Lions group, so it seems unlikely he’ll be cut when the squad is reduced to 26 next week.

His international recognition comes off the back of being a talisman for West Ham in the past couple of seasons.

He’s a defensive midfielder, as well as stand-in captain for Mark Noble at the London Stadium, that is so crucial to David Moyes’ West Ham XI.

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Pundit Sutton has raved about his defensive qualities: 

“Come 1pm on June 13, when England’s line up to face Croatia is released, Rice’s name should be listed. He protects back lines as well as anyone in the Premier League,” he wrote for the Daily Mail.

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TBR’s View:

Most England fans expect Rice to start in Gareth Southgate’s side at the Euros. 

West Ham fans have stood by the youngster since he stepped up from the academy to the first team, but he’s had to prove doubters wrong from outsiders. 

There is no doubt now though that he’s one of the most effective deep-lying midfielders around, with the way he intelligently breaks up play a real standout in his individual game. 

Aged 22, he’s only going to keep improving, and he already plays with maturity well beyond his years. 

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