West Ham coach, Stuart Pearce, has claimed that Declan Rice is already better than Manchester United legend, Roy Keane, was at his age.
At 22 years, Rice continues to be instrumental to The Hammers’ progress under manager, David Moyes, who has guided them to a top four place in the Premier League, and qualification for the knockout stages of the Europa League.
The England International has been linked with a move to some of the Premier League’s top sides, including Manchester United and Chelsea, where he began his development.
Speaking recently on talkSPORT, Pearce, who played alongside Keane during their days at Nottingham Forest, compared Rice to the United legend, saying, “Every game he takes the field the expectation from me [is that] he needs to be the best player on the pitch, in every game.
“He’s got the tools to do that, the stature to do it. He’s got everything. He is an absolute pleasure to work with at this place. He drives us in midfield.
“I was sat next to [West Ham coach] Billy McKinlay at the weekend and he said to me: ‘Is he as good as Roy Keane at the same age?’ I said I think he is probably slightly better.
“We had Roy at Forest with us before he moved on to Manchester United and I’d have to say he is slightly better than Roy. Whether he’ll have the career that Roy had… it is all there for him though.
“He’s got to stay fit, keep learning and progressing. This season we’re fortunate that he’s added a couple of goals to his game which I always thought he had the ability to do so. He drives past people with the ball, breaks things up. He’s an all-round midfielder, he’s probably a Bryan Robson.”
If United do want Rice next year, the club may have to pay in excess of £100 million for his services, after Moyes recently claimed his worth has increased after our failed pursuit of Rice last summer.