There isn’t a West Ham fans on the planet who won’t tell you how important young Declan Rice is for their side.
The England international has been a revelation for Manuel Pellegrini since establishing himself as a first team mainstay at the beginning of last season, and he continues to ply his trade with unerring confidence and an impressively precocious amount of talent.
So far this season, for example, he has averaged 3.5 tackles and 1.8 interceptions in the heart of midfield, as well as registering a pass completion rate of 88.2%, as per Whoscored.
For context, Rodri, Manchester City’s big money summer signing in defensive midfield, has only registered three tackles and 0.7 interceptions per match, and has a pass completion rate just 4% better than Rice’s as per Whoscored.
In short, Rice is already mixing it with the very best, and Sam Inkersole’s latest comments on the youngster are as clear an indication of that as anything.
Writing in his weekly power ranking column for Football.London, he said: “He’s been supreme in the two outings over the past week and moves up a spot in the rankings.
“He’s simply undroppable and one of the best, if not the best, young players in the Premier League.”
Those are glowing words from the reporter, but honestly, it’s hard to disagree with him.
At the end of the day, nobody can play Rice’s role for West Ham as effectively as him, and with every passing week he seems to cement his place as a club hero more and more.
This season could be huge for him in terms of nailing down his place for England as well, and it is no exaggeration to suggest that the Hammers have a player with world class potential on their hands.