By Adefunmiloye Alani

13th Jan, 2022 | 2:40pm

Alan Shearer showers praise on West Ham ace Declan Rice in TOTY

Alan Shearer has included West Ham midfielder Declan Rice in his Team of the Season so far following his brilliant start to 2021-22.

The England international, 22, has been involved in all but one of the Hammers’ 21 Premier League games so far, scoring once and weighing in with four assists, and the former striker has praised him for his influence in David Moyes’ side.

The Irons are strongly challenging for a top-four finish and a strong contenders in other competitions because of Rice, and it is why the London Stadium outfit cannot afford to lose him anytime soon.

Shearer said on the Premier League’s official website: “Absolutely magnificent. I look at him every single week and I see him improve, getting better, whether that’s giving protection in front of the defence for West Ham United or whether that’s driving forward.

“One of the main reasons that West Ham have been so impressive is the form of Declan Rice.”

Nothing but the truth

The Irons have been better all around the pitch, but Rice has arguably been their best player so far this season.

He is the complete midfielder and it is not surprising that almost all the bigwigs in the land want him.

With Mark Noble hardly featuring, their academy graduate has taken up the mantle of leadership and done incredibly well by getting the best out of everyone.

Moyes has said he is no longer available for £100million, and not many can argue.

Nevertheless, bids are expected to come in for him this summer, and it could take a lot of cash to tempt the Hammers into selling.

They are more than willing to hand him a new and improved deal, but convincing him to agree to an extension could prove difficult.

West Ham need to be able to show that they can match his ambitions, and finishing the current campaign with silverware and in the top-four would be the best way to start.

In other West Ham news, an amazing attacker is making personal arrangements for Hammers switch in January.

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