Manuel Pellegrini has insisted he has always had the belief that Declan Rice would come up as a fantastic player.
Rice has been a revelation for the Hammers since breaking into the senior setup and subsequently went on to make his debut for England. The midfielder has played a pivotal role in Pellegrini’s game plan and is regarded as one of the most talented footballers amongst the current crop of players.
Rice’s brilliance on the field hasn’t gone unnoticed and a number of clubs including Manchester United are believed to be interested in the player. The 20 year old is expected to be named in the starting lineup on Saturday.
Pellegrini said, “I never expected that Declan was going to go on loan at the beginning of the season.
“I don’t know why he thought that as he had no options to go on loan. Maybe he was disappointed because he played the first game, which we lost, but I spoke with him the same day and told him he was going to be an important player this season.
“Maybe it is a surprise for him, because last season he played not too many games, then started this season losing and being out of the team for the next games.
“Maybe he thought that. I never had any doubt about that.”