West Ham centurion Declan Rice ‘epitomises everything this club stands for’

West Ham co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold have hailed Declan Rice after the midfielder marked 100 Premier League appearances on the opening day.

At 21 years and 242 days old, Rice is the youngest ever West Ham player to reach the milestone in the Premier League, with his landmark appearance coming in the 2-0 defeat to Newcastle on Saturday.

Rice – who was the only West Ham player to play every minute in the League last season – made his Hammers debut in May 2016 under Slaven Bilic, and has since become the club’s most important player.

The England international is seen as a future Hammers captain by manager David Moyes, but has attracted interest from London rivals Chelsea, who let him go aged 14.

West Ham are yet to receive any bids for the midfielder, and have an asking price of more than £70million.

Having made it to a century of League appearances for the club, Moyes and the owners will hope he can push on in claret and blue.

“On behalf of everyone at the club, we would like to congratulate Declan on becoming the youngest player to make 100 Premier League appearances for West Ham United – a magnificent achievement,” the two owners said.

“Since making his debut at Burnley back in May 2017 at the age of just 18, Declan has enjoyed a tremendous rise to prominence and now established himself as a vital member of our team and the England national side.

“To play every single minute of the Premier League campaign in 2019/20 was another outstanding feat, leading to him deservedly winning the Hammer of the Year award, and the fact that he has already captained the side at the age of 21 illustrates his leadership qualities.

“His progress and success so far is testament to Declan’s character and ability, along with the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes to support his development, both in our academy and at first-team level.

“Everyone here is very proud of him and he epitomises everything that this great football club stands for.”

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