“He’s that influential. He’s good defensively and offensively” – Chelsea transfer target compared to N’Golo Kante

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Chelsea transfer target and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has been compared to Chelsea midfielder by former Three Lions boss Glenn Hoddle.

“For me, Rice is a real key player. We’re always talking about Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Harry Kane, but if Declan has a really big tournament, England will do well,” Hoddle is quoted by the Daily Mirror.

“He’s that influential with West Ham and I think he’s becoming so with England, too.

“It’s his stability, allied to his defensive work, but he’s also getting forward now, too.

“He’s choosing his moments and he reminds me – not in style – but he has this little burst now like Patrick Vieira where he can step through the lines. N’Golo Kante does it, too.

“More importantly, ­mentally, Declan believes he’s a good player now.

“As a youngster, you hope you are. You are learning from good professionals like Mark Noble with West Ham and Jordan Henderson with England, but now he’s going to that tournament thinking, ‘I can live with these people’.

“He’s better on the ball than people give him credit for. He’s seeing space and bursting into it. And he’s got that ­attribute where he can slip into the back four. He can intercept, he can read the game.

“He can’t win you the game, he’s not a match-winner, but he could be a match-saver at the other end.

“In three or four years’ time, he’s going to be a helluva player.”

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OTONY
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