Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp has compared young West Ham midfielder Declan Rice to Manchester City's Fernandinho, saying the 19-year-old has all the same attributes as the mercurial Brazil international.
Despite Fernandinho being 33, Redknapp believes Rice ticks all the same boxes, and even says the Londoner may be an ideal long-term replacement for the Premier League champions.
Writing in his Daily Mail column, Redknapp said: “Rice has all the hallmarks of Fernandinho, the anchorman of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City midfield."
Redknapp also says the Citizens will get a first hand look at Rice when West Ham take on Manchester City at the London Stadium later this month.
“The Brazilian is still performing at the peak of his powers but given he is 33, City will be on the lookout for a long-term replacement. I would not be surprised if Rice is already on their radar, and plays against them in West Ham’s next home game."
The London-born midfielder has been earning rave reviews for the Hammers in recent weeks, improving after a shaky start. He was hauled off at Anfield in boss Manuel Pellegrini's first game in charge, but has gone on to become a vital part of the Irons midfield. Redknapp puts him in esteemed company when discussing his mentality.
“He has the same attitude as Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and John Terry - players who put in the hard yards in training and worked tirelessly to keep on improving.”
The youngster is making such an impression amongst Hammers fans that one supporter has even started a GoFundMe page to raise funds for Rice's new contract. Talks are believed to have stalled with the midfielder said to want a reported £40k a week.
According to the Evening Standard, Rice is currently on an academy deal worth £3k a week. The Hammers have offered him a big pay rise to a weekly wage of £21k, but the talented youngster is no closer to signing the deal.