West Ham United defender Vladimir Coufal believes Declan Rice could become the best player in the world in his position in the future.
The Hammers are currently preparing for their Europa League semi-final second leg against Eintracht Frankfurt, having lost the first match 2-1 at the London Stadium. If they are to progress to the final, they will need Rice at his very best.
Speaking to Sky Sports prior to the match, Coufal lavished his teammate in praise. He said, “After the Euros, when he came back to the dressing room, he had a lot of confidence. Not just confidence in his head, but he can also prove it on the pitch. He is our leader on the pitch.
“I know he can be even better, for sure. Maybe now he is not the best player in the world. But in a few years, he could be the best in his position.”
TIF Thoughts on Rice
Indeed, Rice continues to grow in stature. Now on 29 caps for England, he played an important role in the Three Lions’ run to the Euro 2020 final, and since his return to the Hammers, he has grown into arguably their most important player. With Mark Noble spending the majority of the season on the bench, Rice has all but taken over the captain’s armband, and it is in part down to his displays that West Ham are in with a chance of reaching a European final.
He currently ranks as the second highest rated player per game for the Hammers, as well as being in the top three for tackles, passing percentage, interceptions, dribbles, average passes and long balls per game (as per WhoScored), so you can really see his importance.
Will West Ham beat Frankfurt?
Of course, his performances have attracted interest from across the Premier League. He is said to have turned down a new contract with the Irons, suggesting he may be looking for a move in the near future. It is with another club, therefore, that he could fulfil Coufal’s prophecy, but there is no reason why he can’t become a world star.