Rice up for Player of the Month award

Declan Rice


West Ham United centre-back Declan Rice has been nominated for October’s Premier League 2 Player of the Month.

The defender appeared three times for the U23 side in all competitions in October, helping Terry Westley’s men victories over Manchester United and Bristol Rovers.

Rice and the rest of the defence helped the Hammers to a goalless draw in the other fixture, away from home at the youngster’s former club Chelsea.

The 18-year-old’s moment to remember from the month came at Wembley, however, as part of the first team side which came from behind to beat London rivals Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 in the Carabao Cup.

Rice started alongside Cheikhou Kouyate and Angelo Ogbonna at the back and remained solid in the Hammers’ terrific second 45, standing strong as Spurs’ two-goal lead was overturned.

After that victory, he said: “Being my first game at Wembley, after coming here to watch as a fan many, many times, to get onto the pitch and beat Tottenham was an amazing moment for me.

“After the first half, most people thought we were down and out, but we had a big get-together at half-time in the changing room and second half we came out and showed what we’re about.

“I’ve never been part of something like this before. I can’t stop smiling. It’s the best night of my life!”

Rice was also introduced as a second half substitute against Crystal Palace last weekend, making his fifth Premier League appearance of the season.

The Academy graduate is up against Joshua Dasilva (Arsenal), Alex Babos (Derby), Lukas Nmecha (Manchester City), Lewing Wing (Middlesbrough), Elliott Embleton (Sunderland) and Harry Burgoyne (Wolves) for the award.

The winner will be announced on Friday next week.