Tony Gale believes that West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has a future away from the London Stadium.
The 20-year-old only signed a new long-term deal with the Hammers back in December and has enjoyed a stunning breakthrough campaign under Manuel Pellegrini.
He’s been a real force in the defensive midfield role and has been awarded with his first senior international call-up with England for the upcoming fixtures.
Ex-West Ham defender Gale has predicted that long-term Rice is too good to stay where he is and feels he will be picked up by an elite club.
“There has been people watching him already. The kid is destined to play higher,” Gale told talkSPORT.
“I can maybe see a season or maybe another season after that he’s going to be playing for a real top club. And it’s going to be hard for West Ham to keep hold of him. But at the moment West Ham have got a great player on their hands.”
There is a lot of talk surrounding Rice right now and that comes from the consistent performances he is churning out on a weekly basis in the top flight.
The no-nonsense enforcer is excellent at breaking up play from West Ham and appears to be getting better on the ball each game.
His England call-up is a real sign of his progression and there is no reason why he should not continue as he matures.
It’s inevitable that the mid-table clubs in England are going to have their star names linked with moves away, but for now it makes no sense for Rice to leave and they do have the benefit on their side that he’s a local lad that loves playing for West Ham.