Declan Rice has been given high praise from football pundit Kevin Kilbane despite being on the losing side against Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.
The Irish teenager was given a 30 minute cameo against the Red Devils in the 4-0 defeat at the weekend but was arguably one of the better West Ham performers on the afternoon.
Rice had a pass success rate of 96%, made two interceptions and didn’t give the ball away once after he replaced Mark Noble on the hour mark to further increase his high-standing among the Hammers faithful.
His performance didn’t escape the notice of Kilbane, who was speaking on Off The Ball when he made his comments on the teenager who was drafted in to the Ireland squad last season.
Kilbane said: “We don’t want to go over the top, do we, because we’ve seen so many players over the years who have come and been around the Irish international setup and it hasn’t quite worked for them.
“But the one thing he [Rice] did when he came on – “give me the ball” – it was only his second Premier League game and he only made his debut last season.
“They wanted to give him the ball. They had full confidence in him. This kid coming into the game was prepared to take the ball in tight areas, when he’s got people up behind him and right up against him tightly marking him – he was prepared to have a huge influence.”