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02nd Nov 2021

Declan Rice is better than Roy Keane was at same age, Stuart Pearce claims

Daniel Brown

“At the same age, I think he’s better than Roy Keane”

Stuart Pearce believes that Declan Rice is better than Roy Keane was at the same age.

The West Ham midfielder has played an important role in the Hammers’ impressive start to the season, with David Moyes’ side currently fourth in the Premier League, in the last eight of the Carabao Cup and winning all their Europa League matches.

The 22-year-old has made 13 appearances for the London outfit this campaign, grabbing three goals and three assists – including a crucial goal in West Ham’s 4-1 win against Aston Villa at the weekend.

The England international is consistently receiving praise from pundits and former players, with West Ham coach and former Nottingham Forrest man Pearce suggesting that he is better than Keane was at the same age, as well as likening him to Manchester United legend Bryan Robson.

When asked how far Rice can go in his career, Pearce told talkSPORT Breakfast: “As far as he wants.

“Every game he takes the field in, the expectation is he should be the best player. He’s got the tools to do that, he’s got the stature to do it, he’s got everything. He’s an absolute pleasure to work with, he drives the midfield.

“I was sat next to Billy McKinlay (West Ham coach) at the weekend and he asked if he was as good as Roy Keane at the same age. I said ‘do you know what? I think he might be slightly better.’

Pearce and Keane played together at Forest, with the Englishman playing at the City Ground from 1985 to 1997, while Keane represented the club from 1990 to 1993.

“We had Roy with us at Forest before he moved onto Manchester United and I’d have to say he’s slightly better than Roy,” added Pearce.

“Whether he’ll have the career that Roy had… it’s all there for him though. He’s got to stay fit, keep learning, keep progressing.

“This season we’re fortunate that he’s added a couple of goals to his game which I always thought he had the ability to do so. He drives past people, he breaks things up, he’s just an all-round midfielder.

“He’s probably a Bryan Robson of yesteryear.”

After winning their opening three matches in Group H of the Europa League, Moyes might decide to rest Rice as the Hammers travel to Belgium to face Genk – who are bottom of the group – on Thursday night.

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