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Zabaleta tips Rice to become a West Ham legend

West Ham defender Pablo Zabaleta has tipped his teammate Declan Rice to become an all-time Hammers great.

The 19-year-old usually plays at centre-back but has proven himself to be a fine all-round footballer recently by starring in midfield during Hammers last two Premier League games, a much needed 3-1 win away to Everton and an impressive 0-0 draw at home to London rivals Chelsea.

However, Rice has recently been at the centre of an international tug of war between the Republic of Ireland and England, as well having seen his contract talks with the Hammers stall, causing Zabaleta to warn the talented youngster to take the advice of his more experienced teammates in order to keep his feet firmly on the ground.

“He has the right ability and attitude to become of one of the greatest players for West Ham,” Zabaleta told Sky Sports.

“West Ham need to think about his situation because even though he is young he looks so mature and he is proving week in, week out he can perform for the team.

“As a team-mate, for me, he is one of those young players that you like to look after and help with all the information you can give him.

“You try to help out as much as you can, but then, of course, there are people who make decisions in this club about contracts and all those things and there is nothing I can do about it.

“He has more to learn but all the players need to look after him and keep his feet on the ground because even at the age of 19 or 20 and you play two or three good games in this league, you attract attention from everyone.

“There was all the stuff about the Ireland and England football teams and you have to know how to manage those situations. But it is important for his family and the players around him to look after him.”

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