By Jack Cunningham

2nd Nov, 2021 | 2:10pm

West Ham star Declan Rice compared to Roy Keane by Stuart Pearce

West Ham star Declan Rice has been compared to Roy Keane by Stuart Pearce live on talkSPORT this morning.

The Hammers coach pretty much ran out of words to describe the 22-year-old before claiming that he is better than the seven-time Premier League champion at his current age.

This is a massive claim from Pearce, but Rice does appear to be getting better and better with each passing game and is turning into an all-action midfielder.

He said: “Every game that he takes the field in, the expectation from him is [that] he needs to be the best player on the pitch.

“He’s got the tools to do that; he’s got that stature to do it. He’s got everything. He’s an absolute pleasure to work with.

“I was sat next to Billy McKinlay at the weekend, and he said to me, ‘is he as good as Roy Keane at the same age?’ I said, ‘do you know what? I think he’s slightly better’.

“I would have to say; he’s probably slightly better than Roy.”

Huge stuff from Pearce.

Now, given what Keane went on to achieve at Manchester United after leaving Nottingham Forest, this is some claim from Pearce.

If he goes on to have even half the career that Keane managed, then he will probably go down as one of the Premier League’s best.

So, it is clear that people within the club think that Rice has all the attributes to make it to the very top.

This season, he has gone from just breaking up play to being an all-round midfielder, and he has added goals and assists to his game.

So, he is clearly growing as a player, and at just 22, the sky looks to be the limit.

Hopefully, he fulfils his huge potential at the London Stadium with the Irons, but that isn’t guaranteed.

Either way, though, this is a bold statement from Pearce and shows just how highly regarded Rice is.

In other West Ham news, the Irons are set to speed up contract talks for one player after showing strong form.

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