Teddy Sheringham Exclusive: Hammers Star Declan Rice Is "Sensational"
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Teddy Sheringham Exclusive: Hammers Star Declan Rice Is "Sensational"

West Ham United star Declan Rice is the jewel in the high-flying Hammers' crown – and former Irons' forward Teddy Sheringham believes he is now in the world's top three central midfielders. The East Londoners are scaling new heights in the Premier League and in Europe this season, with Rice receiving plaudits for his performances in the centre of the park. Those displays have seen the 22-year-old linked with some of the continent's biggest clubs, which has come as no surprise to Sheringham.




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Big Club Potential

Speaking exclusively to Genting, the 51-cap ex-England international said:

“You know, when you’re talking about footballers, you want to play for the biggest clubs in the world. 

“I think he (Rice) is becoming that player that if he was available – he would obviously be big money – he could go and play for any one of the top biggest clubs in the world. Whoever that’s going to be, I don’t know. 

“Real Madrid, Barcelona  – though they are struggling at the moment, I’m sure they’ll be back – or Man United, Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Juventus. I am sure they’ll all want him. 

“He’s a sensational player, and probably in the top two or three central midfield players in the world at the moment. That’s how highly I rate him.”

Keane, Carrick And Gerrard Similarities

Sheringham played alongside some of the best midfielders of his generation, in a 24-year career that saw him win three Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy.

And he has likened Rice to a whole host of elite performers from the past three decades:

“When you talk about Declan Rice, I think he's got attributes of so many players,” he explained. 

“Yes, there is something of Roy Keane there. His control in the midfield and his desire and his understanding of the game. 

“He’s also got a little bit of Michael Carrick, in as much as that he’s a better passer than Roy was – sees the game very, very well. 

“He gets about the pitch like Steven Gerrard as well. Perhaps not that 100% committed in the way that Stevie did, flying into tackles, but just the way he ran past players in midfield as well. 

“I think there’s a bit of everything. He's got an understanding of knowing when to play the ball first time like a Michael Carrick, knowing when to control the game like a Roy Keane – but also knowing when to carry a ball and knowing that he can outrun players in midfield.

“(He also uses) that power that he has to keep the ball and get past players, and retain position in the way he does as well. I think he’s a phenomenal player.”




Impressive For England

The former Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur striker has been just as impressed by Rice’s performance for England.

As the Three Lions prepare to take on Albania and San Marino in their final World Cup qualifying fixtures, Sheringham has revealed his admiration for the midfielder’s international performances.

“I think he's been fantastic for West Ham, and probably even more so for England, when he’s playing with even better players,” he said.

“I thought he had an outstanding Euro 2020 and I was very surprised to see him get taken off in the final. 

“I thought he was our one player that was retaining possession in every manner that he did. 

“Not only did he receive the ball off the back, playing the ball forward, but when there was nothing on, he got himself out of danger as well with his little spurt – running away from people in midfield, which is very, very hard to do in tight situations.

“I thought he was absolutely outstanding, and even more so in that final when we really needed him, he stepped up to the plate. 

“And then (he) disappointingly got subbed in a real tough time, when he was exactly what 

we needed on the pitch.”

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