'I also like him': Bastian Schweinsteiger admits he's a massive fan of 23-year-old West Ham player
The balance of the two players in the middle of the park worked brilliantly against Iran.
Rice played the entire match, while Southgate decided to substitute Bellingham for Jordan Henderson.
The Liverpool midfielder was brought on to give Rice more freedom to get forward, but he couldn’t influence the final result.
It would be harsh to pin the result purely on England’s midfield, with the entire team looking bereft of ideas going forward.
Regardless, Rice clearly has a big fan in Schweinsteiger, who named him among some of the world’s most elite players.
Schweinsteiger is a big fan of West Ham’s Rice
Ferdinand asked the World Cup winner to name his top five midfielders.
“I do also like Declan Rice. He’s really doing smart things on the field, I appreciate when someone is turning their head the whole time and checking the things around,” Schweinsteiger said.
“The balance between offensively and defence, it’s very important nowadays.”
Although West Ham haven’t been at their best this season, Rice’s form hasn’t dipped.
David Moyes thought he was the best player on the pitch against Leicester City just before the World Cup break.
It’s hard to see how long West Ham can keep hold of Rice, especially if they drop out of European competition this season.
Schweinsteiger is unlikely to be the only former player who’s a big fan of Rice.
He’ll be hoping to improve his reputation even further by helping England reach the latter stages of a major tournament once again.