West Ham’s Declan Rice hailed “best player in Premier League” – but fans divided

Fans have been left stunned by Glenn Hoddle’s claim that West Ham star Declan Rice is “the best player” in the Premier League.

The 22-year-old has taken his game to another level this season while guiding David Moyes’ side to third place, following a 3-2 victory over Liverpool before the international break.

Rice has oozed class in breaking up opposition play, expertly retaining the ball and launching attacks with his progressive passes, though former England manager Hoddle’s assessment remains a bold statement.

Hoddle also went on to praise Manchester City starlet Phil Foden, 21, who has become a key member of Pep Guardiola’s side this season.

Speaking on talkSPORT, Hoddle said: “I think Declan Rice is the best player in the Premier League, he’s going to get better and better.

“For me, I think Phil Foden in three years’ time will be the best player in the world.

“He has got everything. I saw him when he was 17 when they won the youth World Cup and he was head and shoulders above anyone on the pitch and that was against the South Americans.

“I said at the time he looked more South American than they did!

“He knows how to penetrate the six-yard box, can score goals from inside and out.”

Do you think Declan Rice is better than Mohamed Salah? Let us know in the comments section.

Yet, despite the notable improvements in both England players’ performances this season, some fans took to Twitter to shut down Hoddle’s bold proclamation.

One fan tweeted: “Nah, this is the worst thing I have ever heard. Rice is not even top 10 best midfielders in the league, now you’re saying he is the best player? Shame.”

Another said: “Imagine [Mohamed] Salah reads this. He’ll just laugh.”

A third added: "Had to be an English player to be the best in the Premier League. What a surprise. He’s decent that’s all. Against Italy he got ran ragged by another Prem player.”

Rice played in each of England's seven games at Euro 2020 at the heart of Gareth Southgate's midfield, where he mostly impressed alongside Kalvin Phillips in a double pivot.

And others came to the defence of the midfielder's performance against Italy in the final, with one fan replying: "Did you actually watch the Italy game? He was the best player on the pitch until he was inexplicably subbed by Southgate."

Another user added: "Best player in the Prem maybe a bit far but he’s the best holding midfielder 100% in my opinion, if you don’t think he’s in the top 10 then you’re delusional."

Rice has currently registered more interceptions than any other Premier League player this season, having also completed the third most passes in his position and the second most progressive passes.

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