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Stuart Pearce has high hopes for the future of West Ham youngster Declan Rice, having witnessed his development first hand last season.

Pearce was part of David Moyes' managerial team at the London Stadium last season, and watched at close quarters as Rice became a key part of the Hammers' team, making 26 Premier League appearances.

He has only seen 45 minutes of action in West Ham's first three games of the new campaign under Manuel Pellegrini, but could feature against AFC Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.


Pearce, speaking to talkSPORT as quoted by Forever West Ham, was full of praise for the youngster.

"He’s a fantastic kid to work with," he said. "He wants to learn all the time, obviously he played a couple of sensational games at the back end, made a few odd mistakes, but they all do when they’re young.

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"I think he wants to learn, he has the physical attributes to be a good player in this division, decent with the ball at his feet. In the seven months we were there, we were asking him to play as a holding midfield player, a right back at times and a centre back at time.


"It was tough on him but I think he’s got the tools, he’s the sort you want to work with and have in at your club. I expect him to play [against AFC Wimbledon] so it’ll be interesting to see him.

"He’s one of these that has got to fight for his place again to get back in the West Ham lineup."

Rice is currently the subject of an international furore, as he is considering switching his allegiance from the Republic of Ireland to England.

The 19-year-old has won three caps for Ireland but none of them were competitive matches, so he could still play for England if he so chooses.