Rice progression has Brooking buzzing
West Ham legend Sir Trevor Brooking has hailed Declan Rice's improvement in a midfield holding role.
Rice, who has opted to throw his lot in with the England national side, is in just his second full season with the Hammers first team and has impressed all at the London Stadium.
The 20-year-old has bagged a couple of goals from 26 Premier League outings and 70-year-old former England star Brooking believes the sky is the limit.
"Declan is progressing superbly," Brooking told BBC Radio 5 live. "He’s only 20 years of age and he is getting better."
Rice is forming an excellent partnership with Manuel Lanzini in the centre of the park and it is the youngster’s work in front of the back four that has caught Brooking's eye the most.
"You do need that holding midfield player to place it between people and give you a chance to get them on the half-turn and get at the defence," he added. "And that’s what Declan is getting better and better at.
"His defensive duties are terrific and he’s got a couple of goals in the last month or so, which is excellent, but that forward passing is something which is developing all the time, and I think if he can keep doing that, and he is a lad who really wants to learn and is keen, I can’t see anything, if he stays fit, stopping him progressing as he is."
Neil Foster is an experienced journalist who specialises in cricket and rugby union. Neil also has a solid knowledge of tennis, golf and football.