Football Insider reported early on Monday that the 20-year-old was out of the clash in Sofia due to a virus, precipitating concerns that he’d miss West Ham’s trip to Everton on Saturday as a result.
However, those worries have now thankfully been alleviated. The same outlet claimed on Wednesday that the England international is recovering well from the illness and has told the club that he should be fit to face the Toffees.
The Irons faithful will surely be jumping for joy that their star man is back in the fold at Goodison Park. He got a barrage of criticism for his performance for England in their defeat to the Czech Republic last Friday, but the Hammers supporters know how good he is.
While Everton haven’t been in great form this season, they still have plenty of attacking talent. To try and stop the likes of Andre Gomes, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Alex Iwobi, Richarlison and Moise Kean without Rice would be a mammoth task, especially on Merseyside.
There’s simply no other West Ham midfielder who offers the defensive stability that Rice does. The statistics show that he is a master of breaking up play and keeping things ticking over for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
As per WhoScored.com, the youngster is averaging 3.8 tackles, 2.3 interceptions, 0.6 clearances and 0.4 blocks per game in the Premier League this season. Furthermore, he averages 46.6 passes per outing with a phenomenal success rate of 89.5%.
There’s no doubt that being without Rice against Marco Silva’s side would have been an absolute nightmare, but luckily it doesn’t look like that will be the case.