Joe Cole and Owen Hargreaves believe that Declan Rice would start for every club in Europe, with the possible exception of Manchester City.
The 24-year-old England international has taken over the captaincy duties at West Ham from Mark Noble after the veteran midfielder retired in the summer, and continues to attract attention from some of the continent’s biggest teams.
Chelsea continue to lead the rumours, but City, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal have all been linked with a move for the player.
Rice was named in the Europa Conference League first leg team against AZ Alkmaar on Thursday evening, and speaking to BT Sport, Joe Cole, Hargreaves and Carlton Cole praised Rice.
Former West Ham and Chelsea player Joe Cole said: “Declan Rice, we’ve waxed lyrical about him and rightly so. He’s an outstanding footballer.
“Everything good they do goes through him.
“He’s added to his game. What he did to Casemiro – he dominated the game [against Manchester United]. Any team in Europe would have him in their team.”
Hargreaves noted recent improvements in his game, and thought except for Rodri at Manchester City, he would displace anyone else in his position.
The former Bayern midfielder stated that Rice, “plays with swagger now, realises he can do anything.
“He has all the talents. An important captain.”
Carlton Cole, a former West Ham striker, agreed.
He said Rice would, “start for everyone but City, for Rodri. He can be one of the best defensive players. Everyone would love to have him.
“He’s taken the mantle of Mark Noble. In Europe, he’s done what he had to do.”
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