By Saikat Mandal

19th Nov, 2022 | 6:10pm

Micah Richards drools over West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice ahead of World Cup

Micah Richards has showered heaps of praise on West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice ahead of England’s World Cup campaign in Qatar.

The Sky Sports pundit suggests that the Hammers midfielder is a “class act”, and he is a guaranteed starter in Gareth Southgate’s team for the World Cup.

Richards says that Rice has matured as a leader, but he hasn’t had a great season so far by his own standards.

“Taking the captaincy at West Ham has helped him mature and he’s comfortable in a leadership role. I don’t think he had a great start to the season with his club but he is developing all the time and the memory of his performances at EURO 2020 is still fresh. He’s a class act and a guaranteed starter,” wrote Richards for The Daily Mail.

Is it?

There’s hardly anything left to say about the class of Rice, we all know about that. 

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He has a great Euro campaign, and let’s hope he can do it again at the World Cup. He has grown into a class midfielder, and this could be his stage to shine. 

Has Rice underperformed this season? Well, no.

Rice has been the epitome of consistency for the London club this season, and he has managed one goal and two assists in the 15 Premier League starts. 

He has managed 2.4 tackles per game, and 1.6 interceptions, with over 90% passing accuracy in the Premier League, according to Who Scored

The stats don’t lie. It shows that Rice has been doing his fair share admirably well, but his performance is being overshadowed by an overall dismal West Ham United run of results. 

The Hammers have been poor in the league and the league is reflective of it. When you look collectively, it feels like Rice has underperformed, but stats suggest otherwise.