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It’s only a matter of time before Declan Rice joins an elite club

19 October 2021 | Premier League | Opinion
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It’s only a matter of time before Declan Rice joins an elite club
Vlad1988 / Shutterstock.com

Over the past couple of years, Declan Rice has established himself as one of the Premier League’s top midfielders. In fact, he could well be one of the best midfielders on the planet.

The 22-year-old has become a key figure for both club and country in recent times, starring for West Ham United and England on a consistent basis.

Although West Ham are a club on the up under David Moyes, there is no denying that Rice is destined for bigger and better things in the coming years.

Sure, the Hammers are playing in the Europa League this season. But Rice has proved time and again that he is ready to operate in the Champions League.

Sitting alongside Tomas Soucek in a defensive-midfield duo, Rice protects West Ham’s backline – making vital tackles and interceptions every game.

In recent times, however, he has taken his game to another level – operating as a box-to-box midfielder to great effect.

Rice made his Premier League debut as a teenager during the 2016/17 campaign, making a sole substitute appearance that season.

He then played 26 top-flight games in 2017/18 before making 34 league appearances in 2018/19 – scoring two goals along the way.

In 2019/20, he played a pivotal role in keeping the Hammers in the Premier League – playing every single game that season.

Rice grabbed two goals and an assist in 32 top-flight outings last term and has since notched two assists in eight matches this time around.

At 22, Rice already boasts all the right attributes to become a world-class midfielder. There is a sense that he will get even better, too.

Believe it or not, he already has 27 international caps under his belt. He has also scored twice for his country.

He started every single game for England at this summer’s European Championship, playing a pivotal role in the Three Lions’ run to the final.

Of course, Gareth Southgate’s side fell to Italy on penalties in the showpiece. But Rice gave an excellent account of himself through Euro 2020.

Having proved himself in the Premier League and on the international stage, it is surely only a matter of time before Rice joins an elite club.

With all due respect to West Ham, Rice has the ability to play for a title-challenging team. Don’t be surprised if the top dogs in the Premier League come calling sooner rather than later.

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Premier League
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1
Chelsea 30 13 9 3 1 31 5 26
2
Manchester City 29 13 9 2 2 27 7 20
3
Liverpool 28 13 8 4 1 39 11 28
4
West Ham 23 13 7 2 4 24 16 8
5
Arsenal 23 13 7 2 4 15 17 -2
6
Wolverhampton 20 13 6 2 5 12 12 0
7
Tottenham 19 12 6 1 5 11 17 -6
8
Manchester United 18 13 5 3 5 21 22 -1
9
Brighton 18 13 4 6 3 12 14 -2
10
Leicester City 18 13 5 3 5 20 23 -3
11
Brentford 16 13 4 4 5 17 17 0
12
Crystal Palace 16 14 3 7 4 19 20 -1
13
Aston Villa 16 13 5 1 7 18 21 -3
14
Everton 15 13 4 3 6 16 20 -4
15
Leeds United 15 14 3 6 5 13 20 -7
16
Southampton 14 13 3 5 5 11 18 -7
17
Watford 13 13 4 1 8 18 24 -6
18
Norwich City 10 14 2 4 8 8 28 -20
19
Burnley 9 12 1 6 5 14 20 -6
20
Newcastle United 7 14 0 7 7 16 30 -14

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