Roy Keane claims the superb performances that West Ham midfielder Declan Rice is putting in this season demonstrate that other England players don’t have the right to blame their poor form on being part of the European Championship squad.
While Rice has gone from strength to strength, the likes of Manchester United captain Harry Maguire and Tottenham’s Harry Kane have struggled, and Keane feels that his criticism is legitimate:
“I have been critical of some players over the last year or two if they’ve been playing badly or not doing their jobs. People don’t mind that. You criticise a Maguire or a Kane, and it’s, ‘Ah, that’s not acceptable’.”
“So it’s OK if I slag off the Tottenham right-back? No one mentions him. But you can’t be saying that about Harry! Why not? Did you not see the game? I’m trying to be honest. I don’t mind a player not being good, but don’t be so bad.”
“Maguire said players can have a drop-off after being involved in the Euros. Rice hasn’t had a drop-off. Players can have a drop-off but don’t go from there to here. I’ve got no agendas. I don’t know Harry Maguire. I don’t know his agent. I don’t know anyone’s agent. I don’t have an agent. I’m not pals with any player.”
The Irishman very rarely hands out praise so his acknowledgment of Rice’s performances demonstrate how well the 22-year-old is playing.
Reports at the end of last week once again linked the England international with moves to the likes of United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, but West Ham are said to be determined to keep their best player.
A fee of £120m would need to be tabled for the Hammers to even consider selling up and it’s highly unlikely any interested club will offer that much for him.