West Ham legend Tony Cottee has tipped youngster Declan Rice to become a future captain of the club, and also earn a 'big number of caps' for England.
The 20-year-old has earned rave reviews for his performances in the Premier League this season, and has been impressive in a new holding midfield role.
Hammers legend Cottee, who made over 250 appearances in two separate spells for the club, has now claimed Rice could fill the shoes of West Ham stalwart Mark Noble in the years tocome.
He said: "Declan is a fantastic player. I’ve met him and he seems like a really nice lad and one that really cares about the football club.
"With Mark Noble in the twilight years of his career, there’s going to be a gap to fill as a player who is a West Ham man and can go on to captain the side. He’s a player that can step up to that role in years to come.”
Despite featuring three times for the Republic of Ireland, Rice has previously stated that he remains unsure as to which nation he wanted to commit his international future to.
With reports suggesting England manager Gareth Southgate was hoping to convince him to play for the Three Lions, Cottee revealed that Rice would join a long list of promising youth prospects coming through the country's academy levels.
.@_DeclanRice: MotM -- @WestHamUtd 1-0 Arsenal— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) 12 January 2019
Shots(OT) -- 2(1)
Goals -- 1
Dribbles -- 1
Tackles -- 2
Interceptions -- 3
Clearances -- 2
Aerial duels won -- 2
Rating -- 8.29
For more match stats -- https://t.co/DnYiGSvoFn pic.twitter.com/gSVPMhFylQ
He added: "There’s great competition within the squad and we are all excited about where England are as a nation, after the joys of last summer – a World Cup semi-final appearance and all the under 17s, under 21s, there’s a good stack of young players coming through: Gibbs-White, Loftus-Cheek, they’re all different players to Declan Rice.
"Harry Winks is a slightly different player, but the way Declan’s progressing, he’s got a real chance of getting into the fold and going on to win a big number of caps.”
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Source : 90min