Irish teenager Declan Rice has caught the eye of the famed Sky Sports ‘Soccer Saturday’ panel.
The ominous attack of Romelu Lukaku, Henrik Mkhitaryan, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba stole the show during the Premier League opening weekend mauling by Manchester United of West Ham.
A half hour cameo for the losing side, however, caught the eye of many.
I like what I've seen in 25mins of Declan Rice
— Ian Abrahams (Moose) (@BroadcastMoose) August 13, 2017
Swear to god we better not loan out Declan Rice
— West Ham News (@WHUFC_News) August 13, 2017
Declan Rice v Man Utd:
96% pass completion (22/23)
Dispossessed 0 times (28 touches)
— West Ham Transfers (@westhamtransfer) August 14, 2017
The appearance follows this Premier League debut at the end of last season, having previously captained the West Ham U23 side.
— David Gold (@davidgold) May 21, 2017
Hammers boss Slaven Bilic saw a bright-spot in the youngster amongst the carnage of the Old Trafford visit.
“Declan Rice was a definite positive, though. He has done well in pre-season and we put him on for half an hour at Old Trafford”, he wrote in the Evening Standard.
“He deserved his chance and took it. He did not look overawed in any way and although it was a difficult match for us, the experience will be invaluable for him.”
The performance against United last week earned Rice his first Premier League start against Southampton (ending in a 3-2 defeat), much to the delight of the Sky Sports panel of Jeff Stelling, Phil Thompson and company.
Though powerless to stop the onslaught of the Red Devils, Rice’s willingness to impose himself on the game, call for the ball and not be cowed by his opponents impressed the analysts the most.