Danny Mills has admitted he has been dazzled by Declan Rice’s willingness to carry out his defensive duties for both West Ham and England.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Football Insider, the former Manchester City and Three Lions star says that the 20-year-old has shown incredible discipline and maturity to emerge as one of the brightest midfield talents in the country.
Rice was named among the starting XI for England’s 4-0 win over Bulgaria on Saturday while he has been a mainstay for the Hammers in the Premier League this season.
Mills notes that Rice’s development as a central defender has helped him to show the necessary mindset to stay structured and disciplined in the middle of the park, naming him as crucial for both club and country.
Speaking about his performance against Bulgaria, Mills told Football Insider: “As a natural defender, he’s quite happy to play that role. That’s what he’s good at. He has an awful lot of quality on the ball. We know how good he can be.
“It takes an awful lot of discipline to play that role, be happy to sit there and not want to venture forward, not want to score goals and be that creative player.
“He’s prepared to drop off and do his job. That’s incredibly important. He’s clearly one for the future, we know that.”
Rice has played four times for the Three Lions since changing allegiances from the Republic of Ireland, while he has been an ever-present in the West Ham line-up this season.
He has 74 appearances for the east London side, 65 of which have come in the top flight.