Ian Abrahams stated that Rice had “pretty much been the first name” on the teamsheet in recent seasons since breaking into the first-team and asked if he still had to pinch himself.
The Hammers midfielder shared that with him being in his third season of playing for the Hammers in the Premier League, he had to acknowledge, that wasn’t bad when you consider he’s only 20-years-old.
“Yeah to be honest, I don’t really think about it,” Rice told Abrahams in an interview uploaded to the talkSPORT broadcaster’s Instagram.
“As you said if you count the season, I played Burnley off the bench, it’s my fourth season with West Ham in the Prem but my third actually playing.
“At 20-years-old it’s not bad, I’ve still got so much to work on and improve on, but I’m enjoying every minute and sometimes I do have to pinch myself.
“But I don’t think about it much, I just get my head down to work and every game, I take it step by step.”
This interview proves one thing, and that is the fact that Rice has a wise head on his shoulders. It’s easy to forget the midfield enforcer is only 20-years-old as he plays and talks with such maturity. Rice has already racked up 81 appearances for the Hammers’ senior side, with an impressive 72 of those outings coming in the Premier League, and there are not many 20-years-old who have that sort of top-flight experience under their belt. However the 20-year-old is smart enough to know he can’t rest on his laurels as there are still many areas of his game he can improve on. For example, he needs to work on what he adds to the team when going forward. Rice has only managed two goals for the senior side thus far, and doesn’t have a knack for getting in goalscoring positions based on the fact he has only averaged 0.6 shots per match across his 11 league outings this season (Source: WhoScored). While Rice is found wanting from an attacking perspective, he does pull his weight defensively, shown by the fact he has averaged three tackles and 2.1 interceptions per match across his Premier League outings so far.