Rice has established himself as the leading light of West Ham’s future this season, making 30 appearances for the club he joined aged 14.
And Lanzini has paid tribute to the defensive midfielder, comparing him rather favourably indeed to compatriot and former Hammer Mascherano.
“Declan, for me, is the hero of the team,” he told the club’s official website, echoing the sentiments of manager Manuel Pellegrini.
“He is a very young player, but it is as if he has played 200 games. He is amazing.
“I like to play with him because he has good touch, he has good recovery, I think he is one of the best players in the Premier League.
“He is [like Mascherano]. I played with Mascherano and he is a very good player. He is 20 and I think Declan needs to continue like this, if he stays focused and I think he can be better than Mascherano.”