Paul Scholes compared West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice to Steven Gerrard after the Hammers’ 1-0 win over Tottenham on Sunday.
The Lowdown: Irons beat Spurs
The Irons hosted Spurs at the London Stadium at the weekend in an all-capital clash off the back of maintainig their 100% Europa League group stage record last Thursday.
The home side prevailed 1-0 thanks to a solitary goal from Michail Antonio, with David Moyes’ side now up to fourth in the Premier League table as a result.
Rice played a big part in West Ham getting one over on their London rivals. Nobody could match his eight tackles or 11 duels won, while he misplaced only three of his 41 passes all afternoon in a hugely composed performance (SofaScore).
The Latest: Scholes praises Rice
Speaking to Premier League Productions (24/10/21, 1:55 pm, via HITC), Scholes showered Rice with praise and even compared him to former Liverpool star Gerrard. The ex-Manchester United midfielder said:
“I think he has been right up there for the last year or so. Again, he is a player who plays the position brilliantly. He reads play. He senses danger. You see him intercepting all the time.
“He’s not just got that to his game. He has also got this side to it (driving forward). He has got a bit of Steven Gerrard about him. He has really added that drive and that way of playing to create chances for his team.
“I did think, at one point, he would be a centre-back. But I think he is now turning into a complete midfield player.”
The Verdict: Different players
There is no doubt that Rice is developing into a quality midfielder. He is a star player for West Ham as they continue to ascend the table and impress in the Europa League, and he was a key member of Gareth Southgate’s squad as England reached the final of Euro 2020.
Do you agree with Scholes?
However, 114-cap Three Lions international Gerrard was a player who regularly averaged 10 goals a season (Transfermarkt) – in 157 games for the Hammers, Rice has found the back of the net just seven times. He is more defensive-minded than the current Rangers manager, so it wouldn’t be wholly accurate or fair to compare him to a midfielder who enjoyed playing further forward.
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