football

‘You never know’ – West Ham captain Mark Noble gives Chelsea hope of signing Declan Rice


Chelsea are lining up a move for West Ham star Declan Rice (Picture: Getty)

Mark Noble has backed Declan Rice to become a ‘top, top player’ and even captain England but admits he’s unsure whether the midfielder will remain at West Ham, with Chelsea known to be admirers.

Rice was released by the Blues at the age of 14 and has gone on to become a key player for the Hammers, making 126 appearances since his first-team debut in 2015 and earning 13 caps with the England senior side.

The 21-year-old is now being linked with a possible return to west London and Frank Lampard has reportedly identified him as one of his top midfield targets ahead of the January transfer window.

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Discussing Rice’s potential with talkSPORT, West Ham skipper Noble said: ‘He’s still learning his trade, he’ll get much better with experience.

‘I’m hoping it’s here [at West Ham] but in this game you never know.

‘I’m sure he’ll be a top, top player and an even better player in years to come.’

Noble believes West Ham team-mate Rice could captain England (Picture: Getty)

Noble added: ‘With Dec I don’t have to say too much.

‘He’s such a great kid, got a great family, he’s a top, top player.

‘There are two or three things that I’ve been on him about in the last two seasons to change in what he does.

‘I do believe that if he progresses then he’ll captain England one day. That’s the sort of player he is.

‘He’s such a level-headed kid. You’ve got to remember he’s still only 21.’

The midfielder has been capped 13 times by the Three Lions (Picture: Getty)

Just last month, Rice underlined his ambitions to begin winning major silverware sooner rather than later.

‘As a footballer you only get one career and it goes by very quick,’ he told Sky Sports.

‘You want to be successful for club and country. I think it’s an important thing to win trophies.

‘There’s talk of Harry Kane at Spurs and what he should be doing, obviously he can do whatever he wants. He’s going to win trophies we all know that.

‘I think that’s something I want to aim for as well.

‘I’m only 21 but to get those highs of your career you need to win stuff and that’s what I want to do.’

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