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“Had A Bit Of Everything’ – Shearer Singles Out West Ham Midfielder For Praise After Excellent Performance

Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer was fulsome in his praise for Declan Rice after the midfielder’s display against the Magpies.

The midfielder scored his second senior goal to open the scoring on the night, and speaking after the match on Saturday, Shearer said the Hammers star put in a superb all-round performance:

“He was very, very good today. He wanted the ball more than [Fabian] Schar, the defender, his movement was excellent.

“I thought his performance had a bit of everything: passing forward, whether that was the protection in front of his back four, being aggressive in the tackle, little bits of skill here and there, winning tackles, he got his goal, his range of passing was excellent. He played very, very well.”

Rice has gone from strength to strength this season under manager Manuel Pellegrini. The Chilean recognised the 20-year-old’s potential as soon as he arrived at the London Stadium, picking him exclusively as a central midfielder despite having been mostly used as a centre-back previously.

The positional changed proved to be an inspired decision, with the youngster now on the verge of being picked for England’s senior side when the squad is named for the upcoming internationals later this month.

Rice, who has been linked with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool in recent months, has switched his allegiance from Ireland to the country of his birth.

Alongside captain Mark Noble, the pair have given West Ham a solid foundation to work from as the London club bid for a top half finish.