David Gold has heaped praise on West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice after he started England’s defeat to The Netherlands on Thursday.
The 20-year-old was picked alongside Fabian Delph and Ross Barkley in a makeshift midfield three for the Nations League semi-final clash, which the Dutch won 3-1.
Despite the result, Gold was pleased with the Hammers starlet: “We are thrilled for Declan – he is a proper footballer and more importantly a proper person,” he told Claret & Hugh.
“We have had great players before but they weren’t always the complete package but Declan is. Every England-supporting Hammer will be wanting nothing but the best from the best youngster to come through our academy in many years. We are very proud of him indeed.”
It’s no surprise that Gold was thrilled for Rice last night. The midfielder deserved to start, with Jordan Henderson rested after playing in the Champions League final last weekend, and after a rocky start he put in a decent performance for Gareth Southgate’s side. He wasn’t quite able to bridge the gap to the Dutch’s phenomenal midfielders – Frenkie de Jong, in particular – but he made good progress once he warmed into the game. For Gold, you’re going to compliment Rice until the cows come home if it will end up keeping him at the club for a bit longer. As Gold says, he does seem to be a decent human being as well as an outstanding young footballer. Unusually for a young English footballer in this day and age, he seems to have his head screwed on right. He’s not a Saido Berahinho or Ravel Morrison, he’s level headed. That likely bodes well for the chances of him staying with the Hammers for a while, and it will do his England prospects no harm whatsoever.