West Ham have announced that teenager Declan Rice has signed a new long-term contract with the Hammers until the summer of 2024, with a further one year extension option included.
Rice, who turns 20 in January, pens a new deal with the club he joined as a 14-year-old schoolboy, and has been in excellent form this season, particularly as a holding midfielder.
Having already racked up his 50th first team appearance this month, Rice expressed his delight at being able to continue his career with the Hammers.
Speaking about his new contract, the Republic of Ireland international said (as quoted by the club's official website): "I'm absolutely delighted to have got the contract done and to commit my future to the Club until 2024. I’m absolutely ecstatic.
“Without a doubt, the plan was always to stay at West Ham. I’ve had the support from the fans, from the players and from the manager and now, to get it done and commit myself to this Club is a very special moment and I’m over the moon.
“I’ve now played 50 games for the first team and I’m progressing week-in, week-out, learning from a top manager and top players. I’m still young, so to put more years on my contract and keep developing here is the best thing for me to do now. With the support of the manager, the players, everyone, it was the right thing to do.”
With West Ham enjoying an upturn in form recently, Rice revealed he was excited for the future and insisted the Hammers could challenge for a European spot next season.
He added: "Without a doubt, you’ve seen now the way we’ve played after the first four games, that’s what we’ve got to be aiming for, for those European spots. With the players we’ve got out injured to come back in, we’ve definitely got to be aiming high.
At 19 @_DeclanRice is easily up there in the top 3 young players in the Premier League. A monumental player for West Ham and if he keeps on going the way he is, one destined for the very top.— Jonathan Walters (@JonWalters19) 27 December 2018
“We’ve got 60,000 fans now, with that being increased, we’ve got a top manager who has won a Premier League title and quality players in the squad, so there is no reason why we can’t be competing at the top, for sure.”