Rice one of Europe’s best midfielders – West Ham boss Moyes

Date published: Saturday 1st January 2022 12:08 - News Desk

David Moyes speaks with Declan Rice before a match

David Moyes claims Declan Rice is one of the best midfielders in Europe, but insists West Ham do not need a top-four finish to keep him.

England international Rice has enjoyed another fine season on the back of his success at Euro 2020, and is spearheading West Ham’s bid for a place in the Champions League.

But Hammers boss Moyes insists he is not worried about losing his star man to one of Europe’s elite clubs, despite comparing him with the continent’s best.


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“There’s not many better,” he said. “I think if you break Declan down, you might say: ‘Well OK, I want you to become even better in your passing’.

“So you can look at Frenkie De Jong or you can look at Jorginho. You could look at people who are really, really tidy football players.

“But then if you looked at the other side of the game, Declan’s as good as anybody I know at recovering the ball, and speed round the pitch. I can’t really think of many other midfield players like Declan in that mould really.

“Rodri’s slightly different in how he plays in a different fashion. But Declan’s a wee bit of all round, and certainly can do different things and he’s beginning to add goals to his game.

“There’s probably not many better, but I think there’s aspects of Declan’s game that he can improve. We want him to become better at so many things, but he’s been a revelation for us this season.”

Rice will make his 150th Premier League appearance for West Ham at Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day, and Moyes sees no reason why he cannot reach 200 and beyond in claret and blue.

“Well, Declan’s under a long contract here, under a long length of contract. So from that point of view we’ve not got a big panic on,” he added.

“We will keep Declan as long as we possibly can, we’ve no intentions of selling him. If we ever had to, I’ve said already many, many times what it would be – shoot to the moon.

“Overall he’s done a great job. Hopefully he keeps driving the team on and I hope we continue to add good players to play with and around Declan.

“My job is to keep building the club and build this level up and getting Declan players around him who are of a similar level and capable of playing at a really high level.”

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