Sergio Aguero thinks England international Declan Rice is on the “same level” as legendary Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets.
The West Ham midfielder has been in brilliant form over the last few seasons with Rice taking on the role as Hammers captain at only 23 after Mark Noble hung up his boots in the summer.
Rice has been coveted by a number of big clubs around Europe, with Manchester United and Chelsea understood to be particularly interested, and he will relishing the opportunity to show off his talent on the World Cup stage.
England kick off their World Cup campaign against Iran on Monday afternoon and Manchester City legend Aguero thinks they possess one of the best defensive midfielders in world football.
“For me he is a great player and is at the same level as the best midfielders like Busquets, Rodri and Casemiro,” Aguero said of Rice in an interview with Stake.
“It seems to me that he is valued. What happens is that with him not being in a ‘Big Six’ team, he does not get talked about as much.
“But he has proven himself and I think he is one of the strengths of the England team at the World Cup.”
The former Argentina international reckons England are “a team to be feared” after reaching the final of Euro 2020 and Aguero is looking forward to seeing how they perform at the World Cup.
Aguero added: “I think they have a team to get excited about. They could not win the Euro but they showed in that tournament that they are a team to be feared.
“I know they have had some losses in defence but they have replacements and also a mix of young players already established like Foden, Mount, Declan Rice, Rashford, Bellingham and Saka with others with more experience like Sterling, Henderson and Kane.”
Argentina are among the favourites for the tournament, like England, and Aguero would love to see Lionel Messi win a World Cup.
Aguero continued: “It would be wonderful. Leo and the team deserves it.
“There are even a lot of people in the world who expect Messi to be champion, regardless of which country they are from. And that speaks of the love and respect that has been earned over all these years.
“Argentina arrives very well despite the possibility that some of the boys who have been starting could be sidelined due to injury.
“I hope everyone arrives in the best way. But be that as it may, the Argentine team is very clear about what it plays for and the group is very consolidated.
“Of course, Messi’s leadership is key. I think it will be difficult for any team to dominate Argentina.”
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