Craig Dawson has hailed the ability of West Ham team-mate Declan Rice amid speculation that he would command an astronomical transfer fee.
Rice, 22, continues to be an ever-present in the Premier League for the Hammers. Having played every minute of the club’s top-flight campaign in 2019-2020, he has repeated the dose this time around.
The Kingston-born ace has started and finished all 25 of West Ham’s league games this term. He is a manager’s dream and already been capped 13 times by England.
Rice has played a huge part in the London Stadium outfit’s success this season. With 13 games to go, David Moyes’s side sit fourth in the table – two points clear of capital rivals Chelsea.
It remains to be seen if they can qualify for the Champions League. But even if they miss out, it is an incredible turnaround from last season’s struggles.
Rice’s form has inevitably seen him linked with several big clubs. Chelsea were credited with an interest last summer while Manchester United are also thought to be keen.
Whether anyone is prepared to pay that price only time will tell, but Dawson feels he is worth it. He was speaking during a Q&A session for the club’s official Twitter account on Wednesday.
And the former West Brom man did not hold back in praising his colleague.
“Didn’t realise how good he was until you see him day in and day out,” he said. “The level he’s at now is unbelievable but he’s also got incredible potential. He’s quality but he works extremely hard every day in training.”
Sky the limit
Rice looks certain to be selected in England’s squad for this summer’s delayed Euro 2020 tournament. Gareth Southgate is blessed with many young midfielders but West Ham’s talisman has unique qualities.
His box-to-box style and ability to run all day mark him apart from his contemporaries. Goalscoring is not a priority but he did bag his first for the Three Lions against Iceland last November.
His durability is also a huge bonus, with Rice seemingly having an ability to stay injury free. A place in the Champions League may keep him at West Ham but there will be pressure in the off-season.
Whether any clubs can afford him is another matter.
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