Date: 9th September 2019 at 5:41pm
Written by:

OPINION

West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice has taken his game to a new level since earning his first England international cap.

Saturday’s performance in the 4-0 victory over Bulgaria at Wembley further highlighted that his introduction on to the international scene has helped mature the 20-year-old.

Alongside Jordan Henderson, it was Rice’s role to take control of the ball and recycle possession during the game and he did just that, completing 95 passes according to WhoScored – double the amount he averages for the Hammers.

As he continues to impress, his list of admirers could too – with Rice quickly establishing himself as one of West Ham’s prized assets.

Noel Whelan has tipped Rice to be the next player to move for a Premier League record fee, saying he wouldn’t be surprised if he went for a deal worth more than £90million.

Speaking to Football Insider, the BBC pundit backed Manchester United to make a move for the 20-year-old due to their desperate need for a midfield anchor.

“I think Declan Rice could be the next player who goes for a Premier League record fee,” he said.

“We have just seen Harry Maguire go for £80million and I wouldn’t be surprised if Rice goes for more than that, above £90million, even.”

“He’s young, English, hugely talented and is such a long way from his peak. You look at a team like Man United, who need a midfield anchorman and you can see it happening. They don’t mind paying over the odds for a player, as we saw in the summer. I could see them looking to get Rice in January.”

Rice has averaged 3.5 tackles and 2.3 interceptions per game so far this season according to WhoScored and provides great defensive cover for the Hammers every single week.

West Ham must do all they can to keep Rice at the club, and not sanction an exit for the England international, who has quickly become an integral part of Manuel Pellegrini’s squad.