Peter Crouch has told the Daily Mail that Declan Rice is one of Europe’s best holding midfielders following his outstanding display in West Ham United’s latest win.
The Hammers made it four victories in five as they came from behind to beat Leeds at Elland Road on Friday. David Moyes’s side were the better team for much of the game, and they got their rewards when Angelo Ogbonna headed home a late winner.
It was a night which pitted two of the Premier League’s most exciting midfield talents against each other. And there is surely no question that Rice was the star of the show ahead of Kalvin Phillips.
Crouch has seemingly admitted that he had not always been entirely convinced about whether Rice would be able to live up to expectations. However, he confessed that he has recently been completely won over.
“Declan Rice has really impressed me this season, to the point I would call him one of the best holding midfielders in Europe,” he told the Daily Mail.
“I often wondered about the hype around him but watch him closely, how he carries the ball out of defence and the work he puts in. He is looking like the real deal.”
TBR View: West Ham boosting their hopes of keeping Rice for longer
Keeping Rice for as long as possible has got to be a key target for the Hammers. It arguably says everything about how important he has been that he has already made well over 100 Premier League appearances for the Irons at just 21 years of age.
Replacing Rice – who currently £60,000-a-week, according to The Sun – is going to be an incredibly difficult challenge.
But West Ham are currently doing a fantastic job of progressing at a rate that surely boosts their chances of keeping Rice for longer.