Niall Quinn believes Decland Rice is one of the best things to happen in Irish football for many years.
The former international striker watched the youngster in action for the international side over the break from domestic league action and was clearly blown away by the Hammers teenager.
And that is great news ahead of tomorrow’s game against Southampton after the teenager drew glowing tributes from his Irish manager Martin O’Neill after a man of the match performance against Turkey.
Speaking to the Irish Mirror he explained that there are similarities to Manchester City defender John Stones saying: “Rice is there already, he’s made an enormous leap in a quick amount of time. He looked so assured, he has a great future ahead of him.
“I like that he seems to have a real good head on his shoulders and he seems very committed to the cause.
“It’s a real gift to have a player who can defend and play football. How far is he away from John Stones, for instance, who was transferred for £50m?
“For me he can already do a lot of what John Stones can do. Where in an Irish jersey does that put him? There’s a flexibility there that we’ve not had since Paul McGrath.
“Declan Rice has got something. He looks the part, he moves well, his feet are good, his positioning is very good off the ball. And he is not afraid to get stuck in.”