Roy Keane has delivered a damning assessment of Declan Rice and believes the youngster has much to improve before he can be considered a top player.
The West Ham midfielder has been linked with a big-money move to Manchester United following his emergence at the east end outfit, the 20-year-old having also established himself in Gareth Southgate’s England squad following his switch of allegiance from the Republic of Ireland.
Despite the plaudits Rice has received in recent month former United captain Keane has expressed his concerns regarding the midfielder, and has assessed where he needs to improve having previously worked alongside Rice in the Irish national team set-up.
“Well, where he needs to improve, there’s plenty of aspects,” Keane said on ITV ahead of England’s 4-0 win over Kosovo.
“When you think about him, over the last few months he’s had a lot of praise.
“I’ve looked at him pretty closely, I’ve worked with him when he was with the Irish squad.
“Where he needs to improve, where do you want me to start? His positional play, I don’t think he’s been consistent enough, he doesn’t stay with runners, he’s sloppy in possession, I can go on.
“He’s one of these players I think a couple of months ago people were enjoying him and loved him but he’s one of these players that has almost played his way out of the team because he’s not been consistent at West Ham.
“He’s got another opportunity tonight and I think it is a position in the England team where Gareth [Southgate’s] obviously not sure who’s going to do that job in there.
“It’s an opportunity for him tonight but he’s got to take it.”