If Declan Rice has again represented one of the few consistent positives during what has otherwise been a largely difficult season for 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 represents the most natural defensive midfielder Southgate has.
Most recently reports have insisted he is a £70m transfer target for Manchester United and Chelsea, who are both increasingly favouring British players. “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 David Moyes, once so instrumental in Wayne Rooney’s development at Everton. “Declan is carrying a lot of the team.”