On May 21st 2017, Declan Rice made his debut for West Ham United against Burnley in the Premier League.
A lot of supporters were shocked at Slaven Bilic’s decision to gift Declan Rice his debut, as they took to Twitter to express their feelings.
congrats ..yah did us proud today bruv ! coyi coyi coyi
— DJ JAWA H.P.C O BROTHERS (@dalieesjukebox) May 21, 2017
Quality mate there's more to come next season
— Westham Tel (@tel_westham) May 22, 2017
David gold will be outraged
— Andy Brooks (@andybrooks89) May 21, 2017
Maybe DG looked at my text on Twitter after all
— Marian (@MarianMorgan52) 21 May 2017
— ViewsWestHam (@ViewsWestHam) May 21, 2017
Declan Rice’s journey with the Hammers started in 2014 when he joined up with the Academy following his release by Chelsea at the age of 14. He went on to establish himself in the Academy ranks and signed his first professional contract as his 17th birthday approached, as well as winning the Dylan Tombides Award.
The midfielder received his first call-up to the senior squad on the 26th of December 2016, but he had to wait until the 21st of May 2017 to make his first-team debut for the Hammers against the Clarets at Turf Moor.
Slaven Bilic called for the then 18-year-old to replace Edimilson Fernandes. He received less than five minutes on the field but it’s safe to say that many fans will remember that specific day as a star was born at West Ham United.
Unsurprisingly, many fans were shocked to see Bilic introduce a youngster to the fray as David Gold wasn’t exactly in favour of youth players breaking into the first-team, so Rice’s debut was a rather iconic day for West Ham United.
Indeed, the 20-year-old has established himself as one of the shining lights for the Hammers in the current campaign, as well as becoming one of the hottest prospects in English football. His performances in the middle of midfield have been invaluable and he will continue to play a huge part for the London club from here on in.
West Ham United fans, surely you must be pleased Bilic gifted Rice his debut back in May of 2017?