DECLAN RICE played a pivotal role in helping England to the final of Euro 2020 two summers ago.
Now the 23-year-old West Ham midfielder is hoping to help the Three Lions go one step further at the World Cup in Qatar.
Declan Rice will play a key role for England at the World Cup
Rice has been compared to Manchester United legend Roy Keane
And an excellent campaign in the heart of Gareth Southgate’s midfield would see Rice go a long way to proving he’s worth the big bucks.
That’s according to former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher, writing in his column for The Telegraph.
Rice has drawn comparisons to Roy Keane, who won seven Premier League titles with Manchester United, five as captain.
The Hammers man himself has been linked with a big money move to the Red Devils.
Chelsea are also believed to be keen on snapping up Rice, who’s West Ham deal expires in 2024.
And Carragher wrote: “Pigeon-holing Rice as a modern ‘No 6’ is not accurate, though. He reminds me of the marauding box-to-box midfielders of the mid-90s such as Roy Keane.”
“As a youngster, when I said ‘I play in midfield’ there was no specification as to whether I was the No 6 or No 8. Rice, like Keane and [Graeme] Souness, is so good because he is basically a combination of both profiles.”
Like Keane, Rice is captain material, with Carragher claiming the midfielder will succeed Harry Kane as the next captain of his country.
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While ex-England skipper Tony Adams, writing exclusively for SE, also said he would make Rice Three Lions skipper.
But Rice will have to prove himself on the biggest stage, in Qatar, to prove he’s worth £100m or more.
Carragher continued: “Rice’s ‘problem’ in convincing a club to pay over £100m for him is that modern coaches, certainly at the elite level, want their central players in those defined roles.
“They are less keen on midfielders who run here, there and everywhere as they do not want to compromise the team shape.
“And, naturally, they will allocate most of the transfer budget to those who play higher up the pitch.”
He added: “West Ham fans will not appreciate me suggesting the World Cup is a useful shop window for Rice.”
Rice is expected to start England’s World Cup opener against Iran today, alongside Jude Bellingham.
The midfielder started every game in the run to the final of the Euros and, fitness permitting, is likely to do the same as the Three Lions search for a first World Cup triumph since 1966 in Qatar.