If Declan Rice continues to so strongly influence the vast improvements being seen at West Ham, he can also become increasingly significant for Gareth Southgate and England. He has featured regularly since committing to England over Ireland and, given Jordan Henderson is perhaps at his very best as a box-to-box midfielder and concerns that Eric Dier is in decline, he increasingly appears to represent the most natural defensive midfielder Southgate has.
Most recently, in combining with Tomas Soucek in midfield, he has been central to the transformation in West Ham’s fortunes since the return of David Moyes. “He is arguably the best holding midfield player in the country and the best thing about Declan is he will get better,” said West Ham’s manager, once so instrumental in Wayne Rooney’s development at Everton. “Declan is carrying a lot of the team.”