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HomeSportRice backed to become ‘world class’ by former Hammers teammate

Rice backed to become ‘world class’ by former Hammers teammate

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Declan Rice has the potential to become ‘world class’ according to former West Ham teammate Sebastien Haller.

Rice has been pivotal to the Hammers’ success this season as they compete for a European spot.

He’s been a commanding presence in defensive midfield and has captained them for most of the campaign.

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The England international has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea, but West Ham are determined to keep him.

Speaking about Rice’s potential, Haller told talkSPORT: “He has everything. He’s still really young.

“He’s a good captain, and he’s technically good and strong.

“I can easily say that during my one-and-a-half years he was the top two most important players in the team, because he recovered a lot of balls and was really important for the team.

“The only thing I can wish him is to be a world class player, because he has the potential.”

Rice is proving to be one of England’s top midfielders despite being just 22 years old.

He scored during the Hammers’ recent 3-0 win over Sheff Utd and was also pivotal to their London derby victory over Spurs.

Rice’s close relationship with Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount has triggered rumours of a potential move.

But manager David Moyes is keen to retain the player’s services. He wants Rice to replace Mark Noble as the club’s long-term captain in the coming years.

If Rice continues his impressive development then he could also become England captain.

He is a versatile option for Gareth Southgate, being comfortable in midfield or defence.

Haller played with Rice between July 2019 and January 2021.

He left London after seeing limited success in the Premier League, joining Ajax for £20million.

While Rice became an integral first team player during that time, Haller saw his effectiveness limited.

He bagged just 14 goals in 53 matches in all competitions. That kind of form saw him labelled as a ‘flop’.

Haller opened up on his troublesome time with West Ham on Tuesday.

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