Former England international Jamie Redknapp was left blown away by the performance of West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice against Chelsea on Saturday.
The 20-year-old showed what he was all about at Stamford Bridge as he bossed the centre of midfield, helping the Hammers to a surprise 1-0 victory.
Redknapp was very impressed: “Declan Rice put in an old-school midfield performance for West Ham at Chelsea,” he wrote in his Daily Mail column. “The 20-year-old has not been outstanding this season, and he’ll be the first to admit that, but what a job he did at Stamford Bridge.
“This was the Rice we all love to watch, the player who got himself into the England squad and everyone talking about him. Sometimes when the team is not doing well, heads can drop. But Rice, against the club where he spent time as a kid, led the way in West Ham’s 1-0 win on Saturday.”
Redknapp is right, this is the Rice we’ve wanted to see. Like everybody else at West Ham he has suffered through their poor recent run of form, but he has always tried his best and we saw the rewards on Saturday. He bossed the middle of the park against a very good Chelsea team, and huge credit to him for that. The statistics show that the England international was at his imperious best against Frank Lampard’s side. As per WhoScored.com, the Hammers starlet produced three successful dribbles, a cross and two long balls forward. Furthermore, he made three tackles, two interceptions and one clearance on his way to a WhoScored rating of 7.61. There were plenty of West Ham players who performed to their utmost at the Bridge, but Rice was perhaps one of the very best. David Martin stole the headlines, but it was the return to top form of this most vital of West Ham players that will have really warmed the supporters’ hearts.