Rice left teammates in awe at 17 with "unbelievable" pre-season performance

Declan Rice continues to go from strength to strength after moving through the ranks at West Ham – becoming one of the Premier League's best midfielders.

The 22-year-old joined West Ham in 2014 after being released from the Chelsea academy, and after making his debut aged just 17, Rice went on to rack up 50 appearances before turning 19.

Rice had an exceptional summer with England during their incredible Euro 2020 run, and has kicked on again this season as West Ham are flying in third place.

The midfielder was always expected to thrive at the club though, after it's been revealed that he left his West Ham teammates in awe as a 17-year-old.

Aaron Cresswell also signed for West Ham in 2014, so has witnessed the rise of Rice while making himself a first-team regular, and spoke to Jamie Redknapp for the Daily Mail about his 'unbelievable' teammate.

Cresswell said: "I know I play with him so I'm not going to sit here and say otherwise, but he is unbelievable. I remember a pre-season game, against Rubin Kazan in 2016. Slaven Bilic was manager and he brought on this 17-year-old called Declan Rice.

"I remember him giving the ball away for a goal. How did he react? From the off, he was screaming for the ball. I was thinking, 'Bloody hell, he's just given a goal away' but he was that confident, he could let it go.

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"He wanted the ball and to take authority of the game. For someone of that age to do that was unbelievable."

Rice is now West Ham's main man in the midfield and regularly drives David Moyes' side forward, and Chelsea will regret letting the midfielder go after the Hammers boss said that '£100million for Rice would be a bargain'.

Manchester United and Chelsea have been linked with a move for Rice, but they will have to pay a mammoth fee to capture the England international, who is in the form of his life at the London Stadium.

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