Roy Keane reserves high praise for Declan Rice.
Roy Keane has said that Declan Rice is “way ahead” of where the Corkman was in his career at the same age.
22-year-old Rice has been the subject of speculation linking him with move from West Ham United and Manchester United and before Sunday’s Premier League meeting between the two sides, Keane was asked whether the England international would improve Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s midfield.
Roy Keane: There’s a lot more to come from Declan Rice.
“I think he would,” Keane said on Sky Sports Super Sunday. “I think Declan’s improved as much as any player over the last one or two seasons.
“I know he’s been linked with Man United and if you’d have asked me a year or two ago, I would have thought give him another year or two in terms of maturing.
“I look to where I was when I was 22,” the ex-Man United captain continued. “I think he’s way ahead of me when I was 22.
“I think the next step will come when he’s playing at a higher level, Champions League, competing for trophies.
“He’s obviously a regular for England. There’s a lot more to come from him.”
🗣 "He's way ahead of where I was at 22."
Roy Keane gives Declan Rice some big praise when asked if he would improve the Man United midfield pic.twitter.com/oFo5sQzsfU
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 19, 2021
Declan Rice now a key player for club and country.
Keane and Rice have worked together in the past when the former was assistant to Martin O’Neill with the Republic of Ireland and the latter was winning three senior caps with the country of his ancestry.
Sadly for Ireland, Rice only appeared in friendlies and was therefore still allowed to pursue an international career with England, something he announced he had decided to do in February 2019.
The London-born midfielder has since become a key player in Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad, featuring in all seven games as England reached the final of Euro 2020 earlier this year.
Declan Rice on the rise.
Rice’s rise has coincided with an upturn in fortunes for his club side, with West Ham finishing seventh in the Premier League last season and thus securing Europa League football for this campaign.
Club captain Mark Noble is reaching the end of his career meaning that Rice has regularly being given the armband, adding leadership qualities to his already impressive repertoire.
Whether he can reach the heights of a Roy Keane remains to be seen but the words of endorsement from the man himself are bound to have been well-received.