By Sean Fisher

17th Nov, 2022 | 5:10pm

Sergio Aguero shares theory why West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice 'does not get talked about'

Sergio Aguero was full of compliments for Declan Rice ahead of the World Cup, and revealed a theory as to why the West Ham ace isn’t rated among the world’s best.

Rice was, without a doubt, one of the first names on Gareth Southgate’s list for his 26-man World Cup squad this winter. The West Ham captain is a star for club and country despite being just 23 years old.

The Hammers have managed to fend off interest from their prize midfielder for a number of seasons now, and Manchester City legend Aguero believes not playing for a ‘Big Six’ side means Rice is talked about less.

During an interview with Stake, as quoted by Football365, the Argentine said: “For me he is a great player and is at the same level as the best midfielders like Busquets, Rodri and Casemiro.

“It seems to me that he is valued. What happens is that with him not being in a ‘Big Six’ team, he does not get talked about as much.

“But he has proven himself and I think he is one of the strengths of the England team at the World Cup.”

High praise

Aguero has first-hand experience playing against Rice and knows just how tough of an opponent he is. Considering the number of defenders the Argentine striker has faced, his praise of the West Ham captain means a lot.

Regardless of what club he plays for, Rice should be considered one of the world’s best. Players shouldn’t have to leave their club to join a ‘Big Six’ side just to gain the recognition they deserve.

Sure, Rice may have an empty trophy cabinet, but he’s among the best players for England and across the entire Premier League.

Plus, at such a young age Rice has so much room for growth. His potential is scary and while West Ham have held on to him so far, there is an air of inevitability that he’ll eventually leave east London for a European giant.

Hopefully Rice’s loyalty towards West Ham stops him from jumping ship, but the club can hardly deny him a move after his service to the team.