Premier League

Pundit View: Mills praises Iron’s “very, very rare” achievement

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Declan Rice provided a colossal contribution to West Ham’s 2019/20 Premier League campaign. The 21-year-old England international was vindicated for his performances by receiving the Hammer of the Year award for the first time, having won the Young Hammer of the Year for three consecutive seasons.

His performances have not gone unnoticed, and there have been persistent rumours that Chelsea or Manchester United may come in for Rice. Still, David Moyes appeared determined to try and keep the Englishman at the London Stadium, warning it would take a steel truck full of cash to pry him away from East London. Pundits have also praised the defensive midfielder’s performances, and Danny Mills, in particular, was especially impressed by one of the statistics from Rice’s sensational season.

What did he say?

Speaking to Football Insider, the former Manchester City and Leeds United defender said: “It is incredible. To get through a whole season and not miss a minute is very, very rare in this day and age. With lockdown and the issues that surrounded that it is very easy to pick up an injury.”

“He has played international football as well. To play every single game is a fantastic achievement. To not have a dip in form either, at such a young age, is equally fantastic,” added Mills.

Though the former defender added: “West Ham will now have a very difficult job keeping hold of him.”

Attracting interest

It is easy to see why the West Ham midfielder is attracting interest from some of the biggest sides in the Premier League, given he made the most tackles and interceptions per match, 3.1 and two respectively, of any Iron last season. Furthermore, he was also the heartbeat of West Ham’s attacking play, registering a team-high 45.6 passes per 90 minutes.

Some have even gone as far as to suggest that Rice “could be the player John Stones never was”. Considering the Manchester City defender cost £47.5m in 2016, it is frightening to think what Rice might set a Champions League side back now.

That is perhaps the only solace for West Ham fans at the moment, with the transfer window in a state of flux due to the coronavirus pandemic, will sides want to splash that much cash on the 21-year-old? Only time will tell.

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