‘Fantastic’ Declan Rice has been hailed by Joe Cole as a ‘pleasure to watch’ after starring in West Ham’s win over Rapid Vienna… while Carlton Cole believes ‘everyone on this planet’ is the midfielder in would like to have their team
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice was hailed as a ‘pleasure to watch’ after delivering another stellar performance in his side’s Europa League win against Rapid Vienna on Thursday night.
Rice has sparked the interest of a host of elite clubs after starring for his current squad, and he has also stunned the European stage by scoring in both West Ham’s two group stage matches so far.
After finding the target again at London Stadium and inspiring his teammates to another impressive result, he was praised by the experts at BT Sport, who suggested that ‘every team in the world’ would want him.
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has been praised for his starring role against Rapid Vienna
“He saw the space and attacked it, and that’s a skill some midfielders have,” said club legend Joe Cole, a product of West Ham academy like Rice.
‘It’s something you can learn. Some are more natural than others, but Declan Rice just puts different parts of his game together. He is developing as a player.
“It was only two years ago that people were like, ‘oh, maybe he’s going to relapse to become a center half,’ and he was probably going to become an upper center half.
Joe Cole, a West Ham legend, says Rice is a ‘pleasure to watch’ and still evolving as a player
Rice was skillfully pummeled by Mikhail Antonio to tap in the first goal in West Ham’s victory
“But he also has the ability to go the other way and score goals. He’s just a fantastic player and he’s really grabbed the team by the scruff in the last five or six games. I’ve watched it and it comes with bundles. He’s a joy to watch.’
Rice scored the first goal of the game, tapping in just before half-time after Mikhail Antonio crossed the ball to equal his point from deep.
Carlton Cole, another West Ham great, also praised the 22-year-old’s heroism, admitting he can see why several teams are trying to sign him.
“Because he’s so important to that team, I was surprised he didn’t get out so early,” Cole said. ‘I thought he would come off instead of Nobes [Mark Noble].
After his goal, Rice has scored in both of the team’s Europa League matches so far
Carlton Cole (right) believes ‘everyone on their planet’ would like Rice on their team
“But he’s the type of player who always wants to play and it doesn’t matter if they win or lose, he wants to stay on the pitch.
“That’s why he’s an integral part of this team. If the other players still see him on (the field), they know the game is still on.
‘He is the future, hopefully the future! Because he is such a player, everyone on the planet would want him on their team.”
Despite ongoing speculation about his long-term future, Rice has maintained that he is happy at West Ham despite turning down two contract offers.
Earlier this week, Rice insisted he is happy at West Ham despite turning down contract offers
“Everyone knows how I feel about West Ham and I feel about playing under the manager and what it’s like to play with the group of players I play with,” he said.
“I have the feeling that in my performances you can see that there is nothing wrong, nothing of my concern. I play with a smile on my face, I go out, I lead the team.
“I think you could see a difference if I didn’t give 100 percent, but every time I put on the shirt, my only goal is to give everything for the club.”
Rice has three years to go, with an option for another year.