When a top English team is linked with a defensive midfielder, Declan Rice is the first name on almost all of their wishlists currently.
The West Ham vice-captain has been linked with a move to Chelsea, Manchester United and most recently Man City after a string of impressive performances last season and now this for the Hammers and England.
He shone once again for David Moyes’ side in their 1-0 win over Everton on Sunday at Goodison Park and the praise has been non-stop ever since.
Rice has been playing in a more box-to-box role this season with West Ham, given license to push forward and attack more than previously.
The reason he was linked to the top clubs in the league was his ability to win the ball back, while his positioning and aggression was also attractive to sides who tend to retain large amount of possession.
But during the current campaign he has shown a new side to his game. The drives forward with the ball show he is capable of being a threat in the other direction, while his passing has improved too.
In possession he is still not of the required level to be an £80m+ player in my opinion, but there are signs of someone working hard to improve their game and get there.
Rice would undoubtedly be a fine addition in the defensive midfield role for any of the previously mentioned sides. He is a great ball winner, he is a great leader and he is a top professional.
The new all-action side to his game is certainly a positive and his athleticism is highly impressive. He has shone on the biggest stages, arguably being England’s best player before his substitution against Italy in the Euro 2020 final, and has been a stand-out performer for West Ham on a highly consistent basis.
Now he must maintain this new level in his new role in order to continue improving and ensure that when he does eventually move for a fee in that world-class category, that he is deserving and that the performances at least warrant it.
Rice is only 22-years-old and when he talks about the game he seems a keen learner and someone who wants to always improve.
He looks to be the perfect choice for the midfield position, but the price is something that has fans and clubs wondering and doubting. He needs to leave them in no doubt that he is the man this season.
He’s certainly going the right way about it.