West Ham midfielder Declan Rice says that England colleague Conor Coady is one player who has made him take a “step back” and put his recent rise into perspective.
Rice made his Premier League debut on the final day of the 2016/17 season and has since enjoyed a fantastic journey. The 22-year-old has racked up 128 top-flight appearances, while captaining the Hammers on several occasions. Furthermore, he has played every minute in the competition in the past two seasons.
However, his displays for West Ham have also seen him become a key cog in the England team.
Gareth Southgate gave the midfielder his debut in March 2019 and he has since earned nine more caps.
Regardless of his own journey, though, Rice is aware that the Three Lions camp is full of players who have winners’ medals to truly stamp their credentials.
Wolves captain Coady is among them, after he led Wolves to a Championship triumph as champions in 2017/18. As such, Rice says he has been keen to learn from the centre-back at the latest England camp.
“I am only 22,” the midfielder told Football Focus (via the Evening Standard).
“I come here and I am playing with people who have played in the Champions League final, won trophies, won Premier League titles, you kind of take a step back and pick up little different bits from different people.
“Conor, I have never actually been in a dressing room with him. So to see him and see the impact he has on the squad on the team inside, it is people like him that you need in your changing room.
“Stuff like that I have taken away and tried to take to West Ham to add that to my game as well.”
As well as being a top defender, Coady boasts a similar reliable streak to Rice. The 28-year-old missed his first league game – both in the Premier League and Championship – in over three seasons earlier this campaign.
Rice not the only West Ham man starring
Meanwhile, Jesse Lingard is another West Ham star who is proving his worth.
The midfielder, on loan from Manchester United, has regained his place with England after a lack of club minutes since the 2018 World Cup.
Indeed, he has revealed that getting back among his senior international colleagues is one target he has written on a board in his bid to succeed in east London.