Date: 30th August 2019 at 8:03am
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Ally McCoist heaped praise on West Ham midfielder and shared that he thought he was a great advert for a young England footballer.

The former shared that he was impressed when he met the midfield enforcer, raving about his humour and intelligence in the process, before tipping him to succeed.

McCoist claimed that Rice definitely could play the game and stated that the 20-year-old will flourish into a top player.

“Brilliant, brilliant,” said McCoist on talkSPORT (7:38am, Friday, August 30th).

“Yeah it can be (to have media attention) but I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Declan when we went down to the West Ham training ground and boy was I impressed with him as a young man.

“Not that I expected anything different but I just thought what an advert for a young England football player, intelligent, approachable, great to talk, good sense of humour and clearly the most important thing from England’s point of view, he can play the game.

“He can play the game, he will flourish…flourish into a top player.”

OPINION

McCoist couldn’t have gushed anymore about Rice if he tried, as the pundit just seemed in awe of how good the Hammers midfielder was on and off the pitch. It’s also worth pointing out that all it took for McCoist to heap praise on Rice was for to mention his name and highlight that the 20-year-old had made Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad. Given that McCoist seems impressed by Rice’s attitude then it seems likely the 20-year-old will be able to fulfil the pundit’s prophecy of becoming a top player. The Hammers midfielder has already impressed in his fledging career after all. The 20-year-old made 34 league appearances for ’s side last season, averaging a rating of 6.93 and winning an impressive 1.4 of his aerial duels per game (Source: WhoScored), and it’s a testament to his ability that his 2018/19 campaign was his first full season playing in midfield at senior level, yet it didn’t stop him impressing.