Date: 23rd March 2018 at 12:40pm
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Kevin Kilbane, a regular pundit on BBC’s Match of the Day 2, has heaped praise on West Ham youngster Declan Rice, saying he’s a player he’s “excited about”.

Talking for betting company BoyleSports, Kilbane said that he was pleased that Rice had re-affirmed his commitment to playing for the Republic of Ireland, and that he was one of the brightest prospects for Martin O’Neil’s team.

“There was a suggestion that Declan Rice was on Gareth Southgate and England’s radar but he’s always been adamant that he wants to play for the Republic of Ireland.

“He’s reaffirmed his commitment… He’s very content in Martin O’Neill’s set-up and he’s one we’re all very excited about, we haven’t got any teenagers playing at the Premier League level at the moment so I’m delighted he’s chosen to represent us.”

Football Insider verdict:

It’s been a fantastic season for Declan Rice, despite all the troubles at the London Stadium. After playing just one Premier League game for his club last season, he’s enjoyed a real breakthrough with 18 top-flight appearances already this season – and he’s only 19. With experience at international level on the horizon – he’s still waiting for his first cap – Rice could be one to watch in the Premier League next season. He’s come up through the West Ham youth ranks after making the switch from London rivals Chelsea when he was just 15. Looking at how Chelsea are treating its youth players, that’s a decision that he must be very glad he made as he enjoys playing on the stage of the Premier League. 

In other West Ham news, West Ham fans react to Jordan Hugill display in 3-1 win v Dagenham

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