West Ham travel to Tottenham’s brand new stadium later today, looking to spoil the party and place a dent on their Champions League hopes.
With one eye on their impending fixture against Ajax, West Ham will be confident they can make the game difficult for a weakened Tottenham team.
One player of whom so much now relies is immensely talented youngster Declan Rice. The midfielder has emerged as a terrific prospect this season, patrolling the West Ham midfield with authority and maturity beyond his years.
Rice may find himself in battle with Harry Winks, however. This is a certainly an intriguing one, with both fighting for a place in the England midfield.
Where both players have established themselves in their respective teams, which one of them has impressed the most?
Let’s take a closer look at both below.
Rice broke through into the West Ham first-team last season, making 26 league performances and raising the eyebrows of many. Now valued at £30m (TransferMarkt), the 20-year-old has continued to progress. After a professing his allegiance to England, Rice has now been called up to the national squad and it looks as if he’ll be a regular for years to come.
The midfielder, more known for his defensive work than posing an attacking threat, has chipped in with two league goals this season. However, as stated, this is not his priority. Rice has shown real composure at the heart of the West Ham midfield, perhaps highlighted best by his recent dominant performance against Manchester United.
The quality performances of the young midfielder have led to his inclusion in the Young Player of the Year nominations. Rice deserves this kind of recognition, with the likes of Real Madrid now reportedly interested in his signature. Rice only recently signed a new contract that will keep him at West Ham until 2024. Although that means little these days, fans will hope to have the midfield general for years to come.
Rice is clearly a talent and for his age alone he has to be scored highly. The midfielder will now most likely be on the radar of abundance of teams, for his potential is vast.
TT Grade: A+
Winks has proved his quality in recent years, revelling against the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City. However, injuries have really held back the talented midfielder. This season has seen Winks gain his highest number of league appearances, featuring in 26 games. This isn’t a great return for a player with so much potential.
This remains problematic for Tottenham as Winks has emerged as such a pivotal figure in the Tottenham midfield. His passing ability and composure is unrivalled by those competing for a place. He has also struck up a prominent partnership with Moussa Sissoko.
Winks, valued at £18m (TransferMarkt), has also broken into the England set up. He was awarded man of the match in his debut against Lithuania, but injuries have also proved disruptive here. Where Winks had seen an ideal fit for the squad that went to the 2018 World Cup, a serious injury that required surgery kept him out.
At the age of 23, Winks it’s very early to be struggling this much. Manager Mauricio Pochettino delivered some worrying news in his latest press conference. He stated Winks feels good one day, before suffering a setback the next.
In terms of his rating, injuries have to play a part. Who knows where Winks could be if he hadn’t received quite as many setbacks. One thing that is certain, the midfielder possesses class in abundance.
He is a match for anybody on his day, never looking out of place despite the occasion.
TT Grade: A-
Declan Rice takes the victory here. This was a very close battle between two players with immense potential. Where Harry Winks has arguably shown his quality on a higher level, his injuries have become problematic.
He matches Rice, if not betters him in ability, but in terms of potential, this one goes to the West Ham man.
Aged only 20, with two strong seasons under the belt, Rice has the world at his feet. It would cost a to capture West Ham’s talented midfielder at this point.
Tottenham and West Ham fans, what do you think? Does Rice have more potential? Are Winks’ injury concerns becoming problematic?
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