Rice is England’s best holding midfielder option – Pellegrini

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Declan Rice is already England's best holding midfielder, according to his West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Declan Rice is already England’s best holding midfielder, according to his West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Rice, who only turned 20 last week, pledged his international future to the Three Lions despite having three caps for the Republic of Ireland in friendlies.

The London-born player will make only his 60th West Ham appearance against Fulham on Friday night, but Pellegrini insists he is ready for the call-up when it comes from England boss Gareth Southgate.

Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson are Southgate’s current picks to sit in front of the back four although Pellegrini rates Rice above both of them.

He said: ‘I think he is ready to play for England.

I think we are just starting the development of him as a player, but at this moment his performances are better than every holding midfielder.

‘At least I am taking about the English players.

Maybe there are other foreign players in big teams that are also playing well, like Fernandinho, but I repeat, we are just starting to see what will be with Declan in the future.

‘He is improving in a lot of different things in that position.

Maybe he must improve more and have a better view of the pitch, but he has such good technique that he never misses a pass.

‘He is always keeping his position in the correct moment, so as young player he will always be learning more things, but at this moment I think he is a complete player.’

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