West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice producing a monster performance in central midfield shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone these days, but his importance to his team was, ahem, hammered home on Saturday.
The 20-year-old was tremendous in the Irons’ 2-2 draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, charging all over the pitch and embarking on more than one positive run forward.
On a day when captain Mark Noble looked slightly off the pace, it was his teammate in the middle of the park who proved just why he is undroppable for manager Manuel Pellegrini.
There’s a reason why Pellegrini trusts him so implicitly, and we saw it play out on Saturday. When you look at the statistics, they tell you all you need to know about the youngster’s performance.
As per West Ham’s official Twitter account, Rice posted a 93% pass success rate, made the most ball recoveries with 18 and secured the most interceptions with six.
Meanwhile, WhoScored reports that the Irons ace had one shot during the game, which was on target, while winning four aerial duels. Furthermore, Rice had 72 touches of the ball, the second most of any Hammer.
His 56 passes were the most of anyone for the visitors, while he completed three of five long balls forward. Then there’s his three tackles and a block, both the joint second highest tallies in his team.
Those are tremendous numbers from the defensive midfielder. Simply put, this was an awesome display from a young man who continues to get better and better in a claret and blue – or white on this occasion – shirt.