Former Chelsea and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been lavishing praise on West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.
Speaking about strengths that the 22-year-old possesses as a footballer, Mourinho listed five different attributes including composure, maturity, teamwork, decision making, and his ability to provide stability and protection:
“I like what he shows me. He is mature, calm, a team player who doesn’t think about himself. He always has the correct answers and gives incredible stability to the team. It is one thing to play in the qualification phase, where you play against teams where you don’t need balance to beat any team 5-0, but when you get to the final phases you play against good teams with good attacking players and then you need balance.”
“A team without balance is not a team. Rice is this kind of player. If you have a good back four or back three with a player like Rice in front, England can have more attacking freedom.”
Some rival fans had previously questioned Rice’s inclusion in the England setup, but those doubters have been silenced over the course of the last twelve months, with his performances for both club and country.
It is no surprise that Mourinho is an admirer, and why so many teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City are all pursuing the player’s signature. Hammers boss David Moyes has previously said it would take in excess of £100m to prise him away from the London club and those comments are certainly justified based on his ability. West Ham supporters will be hoping his valuation will scare off potential suitors this summer.