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The international ace West Ham gem must aspire to be like

Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

West Ham United

The international ace West Ham gem must aspire to be like

West Ham United youngster Declan Rice has enjoyed a superb rise over the past couple of years.

The 20-year-old had a fine season in 2018/19 that resulted in a PFA Young Player of the Year nomination.

He also signed a new contract with the Hammers in December, and made his England debut in March after declaring for the Three Lions over the Republic of Ireland.

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Many England fans were thrilled with Rice’s decision to declare, and on Thursday he earned his third cap against the Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League semi-final.

It was a night to forget for Gareth Southgate’s team, although Rice played fairly well himself.

But the Netherlands ran out 3-1 winners in Guimaraes, and one player stood out in particular for Holland.


TBR’s view

The Dutch looked superb in possession, and the influence of Frenkie de Jong was huge for Ronald Koeman’s side.

The holding midfielder, who will become a Barcelona player this summer after agreeing a £65 million move from Ajax (BBC Sport), made things look easy for the Oranje.

According to Squawka, de Jong recorded a pass completion rate of 96% (105 made), and he completed 100% of his attempted take-ons and won all of his aerial duels. He also made five successful tackles and committed no fouls.

(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

He is very much the player Rice should aspire to play like if he is to continue playing as a defensive midfielder.

The 20-year-old is a fantastic passer of the ball, but could improve his technical attributes by watching de Jong’s game, which will no doubt get even better at the Nou Camp.

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