Jack Wilshere has heaped praise on former teammate Declan Rice following his recent departure from West Ham United, admitting it was key for the club to keep him this summer.
Wilshere joined West Ham on a free transfer back in 2018 after leaving Arsenal, but made just 18 appearances in two years at the London Stadium due to injuries. After conversations with manager David Moyes during the summer, it was agreed that his best option was to leave by mutual consent, despite having a year left on his contract.
In an interview with Sky Sports where he discussed his future plans and his time in east London, he was keen to mention his admiration for West Ham's young star Declan Rice.
"I have said it before how much I rate him as a player and how much I enjoyed playing with and training with him and being around him," Wilshere said when asked about the 21 year-old.
Rice was heavily linked with a move to Chelsea this summer and while it didn't materialise in this instance, Wilshere believes it's just a matter of time before top clubs make a move for the midfielder.
"It is very important for West Ham that they kept him there this year. There is always going to be the big teams that come to try and take Declan Rice. That’s something that West Ham are going to deal with. But they have got him this year.”
West Ham have had an impressive start to the season under David Moyes, with wins over Wolves and Leicester to go alongside draws against Manchester City and Tottenham. Rice has been in fine form in a defensive midfield role and has been handed the captain's armband on a more regular basis, with Mark Noble falling down the pecking order behind Thomas Soucek.