Declan Rice has been nominated for the 2018/19 PFA Young Player of the Year award.
After making 35 appearances for the Hammers, scoring his maiden Premier League goal and making his full debut for England there could hardly be a more worthy contender.
The bare stats really don’t tell the story of the young man’s rise to the high spots of the English because week in week out he has given a seven or eight out of ten performance.
And even that doesn’t fully tell the story because he would be the first to admit that the academy grooming he has received at vital stages of his development has been of huge importance to him.
It has seen him become a vital component in the Hammers team whilst grappling with major contract and international decisions which saw him court controversy which led him into making public apologies.
Now he stands on the threshold of one of the biggest honours the game has to offer a young player and on hearing the news he said as quoted on www.whufc.com: “I am proud and honoured to have been nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.
“Any time you receive recognition is welcome, but it is extra special when you know it has come from the players who you play against week-in, week-out in the Premier League.
“It has already been an amazing season for me personally and I hope now I can help the team finish strongly.”
The other nominees are Manchester City pair Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and AFC Bournemouth’s David Brooks.
Should he win, Rice would become the third West Ham player to be named PFA Young Player of the Year, following goalkeeper Mervyn Day in 1974/75 and striker Tony Cottee in 1985/86.
The 2019 PFA Awards will be held at the Grosvenor House, London on Sunday 28 April, celebrating the best of English football in an evening attended by hundreds of stars of the professional game, to recognise the outstanding performers in every division.
Those of us responsible for creating and running ClaretandHugh send the young man our heartiest congratulations.