Stephen Warnock was blown away by Declan Rice’s midfield performance as West Ham lost 2-1 away at Manchester City on Sunday.
Rice, 22, has enjoyed a fine season with the Hammers and despite a spirited performance at a snowy Etihad, the England international couldn’t help his team from losing.
Ex-Aston Villa defender Warnock was blown away by what he saw from Rice both on and off the ball against Pep Guardiola’s side.
“Declan Rice doesn’t go half-in to challenges, he goes full-blooded and he wins the ball,” said Warnock on BBC Radio 5 Live, as quoted on BBC Sport’s website during the match on Sunday.
“What a powerful player he’s become, he just looks so accomplished.”
After an effort of goal in the second half, Warnock added: “Lovely strike from Declan Rice, shifted it out of his feet and you think, ‘Go on hit it then…’
“He struck it right down the throat from Ederson, who decided to punch it away, such was the speed of the shot. They’re really growing into the game, West Ham.”
One of a kind
Is there a more complete central midfielder in the world than Rice?
Not only is this guy an absolute monster off the ball, whether it’s on the deck or in the air, he’s also a real threat when he’s on it too.
Rice has shown massive strides in his attacking game this season and he really didn’t deserve to be on the losing side against Man City on Sunday.
It does beg the question about his future at the London Stadium as he continues to shine in the Premier League.
Man City, today’s opponents, will no doubt be a club who’ll be strongly linked with Rice as long as he stays at West Ham and other clubs from across England and Europe will also be linked.
David Moyes and the board have a massive job on their hands to either get a record sum for the midfielder or keep hold of him.
West Ham are relying so much on Rice’s progression and it’s great that the club is progressing with him.
But at what points does he turn around and say he wants Champions League football and that he wants to challenge for silverware every season?
We can’t be far off that point, unfortunately.
In other West Ham news, an amazing attacker is making personal arrangements for a switch to join the Hammers in January.
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