Although England may have fell to a 1-0 defeat against Hungary yesterday, Michael Owen was full of praise for midfielder Declan Rice and even compared the West Ham man to Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.
The 23-year-old started for Gareth Southgate’s side in Budapest in a deeper holding role, but former England and Reds forward Owen believes Rice has the ability and tecnhique to operate in a more advanced role further up the pitch in the future.
“I think that sitting midfield role is a very disciplined role, I played with one of the best in terms of Steven Gerrard,” Owen told Channel 4 (via the Daily Mail).
“But he’s actually a bit too good to sit and be disciplined. He’s almost better than a sitting midfielder. But he does show signs of a Steven Gerrard.
“Big, powerful, a very good passer of the ball so he’s actually not just a sitting midfielder anymore. He breaks the game up so well, now he’s adding those long runs to his game.
“He’s becoming a more all-round player.”
Rice made 50 appearances for the Hammers last season (across all competitions) and registered five goals and four assists along the way.
He played a huge roles as David Moyes’ side reached the semi-finals of the Europa League and had a solid Premier League campaign despite missing out on qualification for the Europe’s second competition on the final day.
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The Londoners offered their star man a whopping eight-year deal last month which the England international rejected, but West Ham are determined to retain his services with still another two years remaining on his contract.
The club have said they will reopen negotiations after the summer transfer window.
He is a boyhood Chelsea fan and represented the Blues during his early days as a teenager and they’re believed to be interested in his signature, so too are Manchester United.
Moyes has previously claimed that he values his No. 41 at around £150m in an attempt to ward off interest from a lot of clubs.
With Liverpool also interested in adding reinforcements in the midfield department, it’s surprising that we’re not believed to be linked with a move for Rice.
With the fee that has been set by the Hammers that may be the reason why we’re not linked, but Rice is certainly a player that would come in and improve our midfield.
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Behave yourself Michael!!
Just look at both for goals scored and the ratios – there is no comparison.
The effect that Steven Gerrard had on a match was usually the difference for his team – be it LFC or England.
As for yesterdays England game and your comments I do not think we were both watching the same game – the England performance was unacceptable.