West Ham youngster Declan Rice has been discussing how much he is enjoying his new deep-lying midfield role ahead of his side’s Premier League fixture at home to Burnley tomorrow.
The highly-rated 19-year-old played the vast majority of his football at youth level as a centre-back, but he has been earning rave reviews ever since Manuel Pellegrini began deploying him at the base of the Hammers midfield earlier this season.
“It’s been good, it’s been really, really good,” Rice told whufc.com.
“I’m enjoying playing in a different position than last year, which I really like.’’
“Obviously, playing three games in a week is going to be tough, especially having played the second half with ten men on Saturday, but we go again against Burnley, so I’ve got to recover well, conserve my energy and prepare myself mentally to go out there and perform again.
“I’m really enjoying playing in that role.”
Rice also revealed that one of the key’s to his success in midfield has been the excellent relationship he has struck up with West Ham centre-backs Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena, both of whom arrived in East London this summer.
“The way we’re all training together, Issa, Fab and myself have got a great connection together,” he revealed.
“Even though Issa is French and Fab is from Paraguay, we all speak together and we all get on really well, and it’s good to have those connections,’’ Rice added.
“We understand that if Fab goes into the ball, I drop into his spot and we know each other’s positions inside out.
“I think it’s good that we have three like that at the top of the spine who know what they’re doing.”