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Pellegrini: Rice will become a ‘top player’

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini believes that Declan Rice has the potential to establish himself as a top player in the future.

Rice earned many plaudits for his match-winning performance for The Hammers last weekend against Arsenal. The 20-year-old finished coolly with his right foot for the only goal of the game at the London Stadium.

Pellegrini clearly has a lot of trust in the youngster having handed him 19 Premier League starts already this season.

“[Rice] is a player who will continue improving. He is just 20 years old so he has a lot more years to continue growing as a player. I’m sure he will be a top player,” said Pellegrini.

Rice can play as a defensive midfielder or as a centre-back and Pellegrini also discussed his versatility.

“I think he can play in both positions, maybe in the way he plays more as a midfielder he will have the best view of the pitch, but I repeat that he is improving each day so he can play without any problems at centre-back too.”

Rice has still to confirm his decision with regards to international football. Having been born in London, with Irish grandparents, he can choose to play for England or Ireland.

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