The 20-year-old enjoyed a stellar season for the Irons last term, appearing in all but four of the club’s Premier League matches.
And Martin, who himself played 469 times for West Ham, believes the best is yet to come from the youngster.
Speaking to the club’s official website, he said: “What I like is Declan’s honesty. He plays the game with integrity in that respect, always making himself available even when he knows he is putting himself in a risky situation.
“The big thing going forward is what, while everything is going so well for him in that role, he needs to make sure he continues to improve because he is still young and potentially there is so much more there for him.
“He has to make sure he doesn’t take his foot off the pedal, that he goes in every day wanting to improve.
“Now the sky is the limit for him. Declan will know that, over the next couple of seasons, he will continue to improve for West Ham and Manuel Pellegrini.”
You have to agree with Martin on this one. Rice already looks like a player who has been at the very top level for far longer than he actually has, and in his short time with the Hammers’ senior side he has managed to establish himself as one of the most important players in Manuel Pellegrini’s squad. If he stays at the club, and you would expect him to this summer, then he will no doubt kick on again next season. The fact that he chose to play for England, a contentious decision at the time, should also serve him well, and he already looks as if he can be the answer to Gareth Southgate’s midfield question for the next decade at least. Rice is a special talent, undoubtedly, but the most exciting thing about him is that it’s impossible to tell just how special he can be. West Ham fans will be itching to find out.