There’s not an awful lot you can criticise Declan Rice for.
He works hard out of possession, reads the game well, is efficient on the ball, and generally gives the impression of a youngster who could go on to be a great leader for club and country for many years to come.
If there was one part of his game that you would like to see him improve on, however, it would be his goal-getting.
Admittedly, this is not vital for a player who predominantly spends his time screening the backline, but 34 Premier League appearances yielded just two goals last season. Even for the most conservative of midfielders, that’s a modest return.
If he could add just three or four more even over the course of a campaign, then it could make a world of difference for the Hammers.
And he has proven that he is capable. His goal against Arsenal earlier this term was a corker, placed sublimely into the top bracket from a first time strike.
Similarly, his latest goal in training for England was pretty special too.
Posted to the Three Lions’ official Twitter account, the video shows Rice play a nice little interchange before curling one home past from the edge of the box.
It’s composed, poised, and bursting with quality. It also shows exactly what Rice needs to do if he is to become a complete midfield entity for West Ham.