Declan Rice exhibited his defensive proficiency as West Ham beat Leeds United on March 9th, 2021. During the game, the English international managed to limit the runs of Leeds forwards Raphinha, Kalvin Phillips, and Patrick Bamford. Declan Rice did not score on account of his defensive position on the Hammers’ side.
Declan Rice impressed the fans with his performance once again, but he made a fan out of his team-mate Tomas Soucek. In an interview on March 14th, 2021, the Czech international said, “It is a great pleasure to play alongside Declan. We both play the role of holding midfielders, and for that, balance is essential. When I play with Rice, he balances me out really well and allows me opportunities to run forward from time to time. So, I repay him with the same favor.”
In the game against the Peacocks, Rice recorded two blocked shots, six duels (won), and a ninety-two percentage pass completion.
Reason for Soucek’s appreciation of Rice
Declan Rice is having a great season in the Premier League at the London Stadium. He has played twenty-eight games so far and has recorded one goal and one assist so far. He can shift between the center-back position and the defensive midfield role as per his manager David Moyes’s request. The youngster was predominantly used as a center back in his youth days at Chelsea and then at West Ham. Though, Moyes started employing him as a holding midfielder when he made his debut for the Hammers on May 18th, 2017. He even revealed that his preferred position is the holding midfield role bestowed upon him by David in an interview.
Rice, like Kevin De Bruyne, left Chelsea on account of him not being able to meet the Chelsea youth coaches’ expectations. Similarly (like the Belgian), he moved to another club and caught his former club’s attention through his midfield dominance. At West Ham, he has recorded four goals and four assists in a hundred and twenty-six appearances overall in five years.
Declan is young and really good on the ball, and it is just a matter of time before he swaps the brown and blue for another in a bigger club.
Declan Rice needs to be a target for Manchester United according to Owen Hargreaves
Declan Rice has received the admiration of United icon Owen Hargreaves. The former English international seems stunned by the twenty-two-year-old English midfielders rice in the Premier League.
So, he wished for a player of Rice’s capabilities to play for a Manchester United. In an interview on March 12th 2021, he said, “Rice is a player whose stats never falter and I have to say that it is an impressive aspect in a player. He is 6’3 in height and uses it well to bully the opposition and he is very technical on the ball. At United he does not have to pass the ball forward if that is not what he prefers, he can choose to hold up play and pass it those who can do that instead.” The short version of Hargreaves interview is a plea for his team to go all out and buy the Englishman.”
Rice’s decision cannot be determined yet, as it is not clear what he will do. West have attained the fifth position on the Premier League table. It is an assurance that the Hammers will play Europa League football next season. So should they win the Europa League next season, Declan will get to play Champions League football in the season after the next.
Although, should next season not be as fruitful as the current one, the holding midfielder could move from London to Manchester and don the red and black jersey at United.
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