West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini insists that Declan Rice is ready to feature on the international stage for England, after claiming that he is performing better than every one of England's defensive midfielders this term.
The 20-year-old appeared in just one of West Ham's opening four league games, but has not missed a minute of Premier League action since; becoming an integral of the Hammers' midfield.
His recent impressive displays have prompted to Pellegrini to laud the youngster, with the Chilean boldly comparing him to former Barcelona star Javier Mascherano.
"I think he is ready to play for England and I think that we are just starting the development of him as a player but at this moment his performances are better than every holding midfielder (that England has)," Pellegrini said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
"I worked with so many young players. I started with Javier Mascherano when he was 17 years old and he was similar to Declan Rice in his mentality.
"When you have 17, 18, 19 years old players arrive in the first team, playing in the first-team changes a bit your mind and you think that you are ready, but in the case of Declan he knows that he is (just) starting and that is important."
Despite claiming he is ready to make his international bow for England, Pellegrini believes that Rice has much to learn about the holding midfield position and insisted that his talented star must work on his vision of the pitch to make the next step in his career.
"He is improving in a lot of different things in that position. Maybe he must improve more and have a better view of the pitch but he has such good technique that he never misses a pass and he is always keeping his position in the correct moment. He will always be learning."