Joe Cole: The sky is the limit for Declan Rice
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has been dubbed the best player in the Premier League by Glenn Hoddle, and Joe Cole agrees.
The former England manager claimed on talkSPORT that the 22-year-old will only get better after a fine start to 2021-22, and the former Hammers attacker subscribes to it.
Rice has been linked with the biggest teams in the land, and he proved his quality for the umpteenth time as West Ham ran out 3-2 winners against Liverpool prior to the last international break.
The Sky Sports pundit told talkSPORT: “If Glenn said [Rice is the best player in the league], then it’s true. He’s the God.
“I’ve watched Declan develop over the years. He’s a little bit like – and I don’t want to put this kind of pressure on him – but he’s a little bit like how Stevie G developed at Liverpool, where he just kept adding things to his game and adding things, and adding things.
“Declan’s added goals to his game now with breaking from midfield with that power, and he’s hitting the target and scoring goals.
“The sky is the limit for the lad – he really is a top, top player.”
It is a very debatable claim, but there is no doubt that Rice has been one of the best players in the Premier League in recent months, with his consistent top performances for club and country mind-blowing.
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea have been regularly linked with him for a reason, and he is arguably why West Ham are punching above their weights in the Premier League right now.
The club cannot afford to let go of him, and it is not surprising that they have not been open to offers.
Not many central midfielders can do what the Hammers academy graduate does right now, and the club will give everything to keep him at the London Stadium for as long as they can.
Rice dreams of playing regular Champions League football and winning major silverware every season, and while that looked out of reach some months ago at West Ham, recent events and form show just anything is possible.
Not everyone will agree that he is the best player in the English top-flight right now, but he can convince all and sundry in the long run if he maintains this form.