Major stat backs up Declan Rice’s adoration for West Ham teammate

Date published: Thursday 28th October 2021 12:57 - Ciaran McCarthy

Many senior figures at West Ham have been impressed with one young star, including vice-captain Declan Rice and first-team coach Stuart Pearce.

West Ham have hit the ground running this season, emulating their top form from last campaign. The Hammers sit in fourth place in the Premier League and are yet to lose a Europa League fixture.

Adding to their impressive start, the East London side ended Manchester City’s four season monopoly over the League Cup on Wednesday night. Indeed, David Moyes’ men finally ended City’s unbeaten five-year run in the competition, defeating them on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

One young player has been a key factor in much of West Ham’s success this season when he has featured.

That player is Ben Johnson, who has deputised for Vladimir Coufal at right-back amid his injury struggles. Johnson has impressed many during his time in the side, including Rice.

Rice took to Twitter after the Man City game to voice his admiration of Johnson. “Ben Johnson, that’s all,” he tweeted.

Johnson has featured in six games this season, and has been a crucial figure in West Ham’s success. As such, the side are yet to concede with the Englishman on the pitch.

Furthermore, the youngster is yet to lose a ground duel or be dribbled past, per Matchday365.

That statistic is all the more impressive when you take into account the players he has faced in that stretch.

Johnson was up against Raheem Sterling, and later Jack Grealish against City. While against Manchester United, he faced Jadon Sancho -all England internationals – and all of which who have failed to better the 21-year-old.

Stuart Pearce commends Johnson

Stuart Pearce, West Ham, July 2021

West Ham first-team coach Stuart Pearce has also had good things to say about Johnson, and feels the youngster’s positive attitude is a bonus.

“Well, the most important thing about Ben is whenever you pass him or meet him first thing in the morning, he’s got a smile on his face. He takes in all the knowledge you can pass on to him,” he said via football.london.

“He’s a wonderful professional to deal with and work with. We’re very proud to have him out of our academy system as well, which is a real plus for us. Especially with the connection to this club with the Academy.”

“And I think he’s just developing and getting better and better and like with all young players, the more game time they have, the better they’ll get so I am delighted for the boy.”

Indeed, Johnson’s development will be aided with the help of great coaches like Pearce. Furthermore, should he continue to play as well as he has, he will surely be in West Ham’s plans for years to come.


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