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Ex-England defender suggests Declan Rice can be better than Roy Keane

Declan Rice

Declan Rice compared with Roy Keane.

Declan Rice has been compared to Roy Keane by former England defender Stuart Pearce, who played with the Corkman at Nottingham Forest.

After Rice turned his back on the Republic of Ireland in 2019, plenty of supporters wouldn’t have minded if the midfielder’s career went down the pan.

Declan Rice hailed by Stuart Pearce.

Sadly for Irish fans, it’s gone in the opposite direction, with the West Ham United man consistently putting in brilliant performances for both his club and for England, for whom he starred at Euro 2020 last summer.

With all due respect the Hammers, and the amazing job David Moyes is doing as manager, Rice is likely to move away from East London sooner or later and according to Pearce, the sky is the limit for the 23-year-old.

Pearce is part of Moyes’ coaching team at the London Stadium and he has been telling talkSPORT about what makes Rice so good.

“He’s so humble.”

“You see him pick the ball up and someone shutting him down, and him driving past them as though they’re not there,” the former left-back begins.

“These are Premier League players he’s up against. You see him going to shut people down and that five yards of explosion, it’s as though the players don’t get set and they’re not ready for it, he moves that quickly over the ground.

“He’s 6 foot 2, he can get from box to box. He can finish, I think there are more goals in him that will come during his career.

“He’s an absolute pleasure, he’s so humble as a young man. That is his biggest forte for me, let alone what he does on the pitch.”

Did Roy Keane have the pace?

When asked by Darren Bent if Rice is one of the best players Pearce has coached, the former England man reflected back on playing with a young Roy Keane at Forest.

“I’ve played alongside Roy Keane and you try to compare Roy Keane to him and you think ‘well… did Roy have that dynamic sort of pace that Rice has got?’ He certainly would be up there.”

Pearce captained Keane for three seasons at the City Ground, after the young midfielder came over from Cobh Ramblers in 1990.

Such was the form of the Irishman, Manchester United were prompted to pay a British record £3.75m fee for him just three years later, indicating how good a talent Pearce had been witnessing.

United are one of the clubs that Rice has been linked with and if Pearce’s words are anything to go by, he could have a similar impact to Keane, if he ever makes the move to Old Trafford.

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