By Liam Thomas

22nd Sep, 2022 | 9:40am

West Ham United captain Declan Rice looks forward to 'special bond' with Jude Bellingham

West Ham captain Declan Rice is looking forward to bossing things in the middle of the park for years to come with 19-year-old Jude Bellingham in the England setup.

Rice has been seriously impressed by Bellingham’s talents since he joined up with the England squad and is hoping the pair can form a memorable partnership.

The 23-year-old admitted that he “loves” playing with Bellingham and that he trusts the youngster “to be at it” for England whenever is needed.

Speaking to TalkSPORT, via their YouTube channel, Rice chatted about the partnership he’s formed with the Borussia Dortmund ace.

“Obviously it takes time to gel with a partner, you’re not going to get that connection straight away. But over time you do and even with all the other midfielders in the squad, I hope that we can go on for the next 10 years and create a special, special bond in the middle of the pitch,” said Rice.

“I think he’s energetic. He’s strong, has self-belief, no fear.

“He’s got everything as a 19-year-old, you know, he’s a man, he has played on the big occasions already.

“He’s ready to play, but obviously it’s down to the manager (Gareth Southgate) to pick what he thinks is best.”

Facts.

Bellingham certainly deserves to start for England alongside Rice and the thought of them creating a formidable partnership is mouthwatering, to say the least.

Hopefully, the pair’s “special bond” can be translated into trophies for their country; there’s no better place to start than the FIFA World Cup in two months’ time.

Southgate needs to start putting more trust in the youth in his squad, if Bellingham can start, score and perform to the highest level against Manchester City in the Champions League, he can start for England.

Rice’s performance so far this season have been less than impressive, hopefully, a bit of Bellingham magic can rub off on him during this international break.

It’s likely just a blip in form for the England international, nevertheless, we don’t want it to become a recurring theme.

West Ham need Rice to come back to the London Stadium firing on all cylinders; the club are sitting in a worrying position as things stand.