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Lee reckons Irons ace can be player of the year

Rob Lee has waxed lyrical over Declan Rice, insisting that he is one of the best players in the Premier League.

The defensive midfielder is currently on the sidelines.

But he has been central to the club’s Champions League push prior to his injury, which has kept him out of the last four games.

Rice has made 29 appearances in the Premier League, scoring one goal and laying on an assist, as the Irons have looked to force their way into the top four.

Lee played for the Hammers in the 2003/04 season and he believes that the England international has emerged as one of the finest footballers in the entire division.

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Speaking to Football FanCast, Lee said: “I think the longer that he is out injured, the more West Ham will start to miss him but they have been okay without him for a couple of games.

I think he’s certainly been one of the best players in the Premier League and if he’s not on the shortlist for the PFA player of the year I’ll be amazed.”

Rice has made a total of 128 appearances in the Premier League since his debut and has emerged as a genuine England star, winning 15 caps under Gareth Southgate after switching his allegiance from the Republic of Ireland.

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About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.