Monday 14 Jan
Updated Monday 14 Jan 13:54
Interviews

Nasri: Rice is one of the best youngsters I've played with

Nasri and Declan Rice

 

Samir Nasri has hailed Declan Rice as one of the top five young players he has ever worked with and believes the 20-year-old has all the tools to become one of the Premier League's best defensive midfielders. 

Rice scored his first goal for West Ham in Saturday's 1-0 win over Arsenal, securing the Iron's first home victory against the Gunners in 13 years in front of a record attendance at London Stadium. 

If Declan stays humble and works hard he has everything to be one of the best defensive midfielders in the future, because he is really smart as a player. 

Samir Nasri

The Academy graduate's finish was an early birthday present, with Rice celebrating his 20th birthday on Monday, and Nasri was the man to lay on the assist for the No41 on his Premier League debut for the Hammers. 

The playmaker has played with some of the best players in world football, having represented the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City, Sevilla and the French national team, and has seen some of the globe's finest youngsters in action. 

And Nasri would put Rice in amongst the very best of those players.

"Declan Rice is a really really good player," Nasri said. "If he stays humble and works hard he has everything to be one of the best defensive midfielders in the future, because he is really smart as a player. 

Declan Rice

 

"He started as a centre-back, so he has this intelligence about how to cover the spaces. He only has to score more goals and take more shots and thats what he did against Arsenal. 

"He’s definitely in the top five young players I have played with. Jack Wilshere was amazing - on another level - a really good player. Jadon Sancho was a good player as well. He didn’t have the maturity at the time but he had a really good time. 

"Phil Foden at Manchester City as well, and you have Declan! He's in the top five for sure."