“This one will surprise you”


West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has named a Tottenham flop as his toughest Premier League opponent.

The 23-year-old midfielder has established himself as one of English football’s leading players after his five seasons in the top flight, which saw him make 167 league appearances.

Asked by Tubes and YouTube show Golf Life of Ange who was his toughest opponent, England midfielder named Tanguy Ndombele. The France international arrived at Tottenham in 2019 for £53.8million (BBC Sports) from Lyon and came with a reputation as one of the most promising young players in Europe.

However, after 91 unspectacular appearances for Spurs, the 25-year-old was deemed surplus to requirements by manager Antonio Conte and was sent on loan to Lyon in January. Rice, however, is full of praise for his fellow midfielder, as HITC Sports quoted him as saying:

“This one will surprise you. He gets slammed and pounded a bit. It will bring you back, but Ndombele, who was Spurs. The perception of him, it shouldn’t be what it is because I’m telling you now, he’s one of the toughest I’ve played against.

“He’s on top. Just a street footballer on the pitch. He takes the ball anywhere, little taps and tricks. Like he doesn’t care. He does everything with so much confidence. With players like “That’s just letting them play. Give them the freedom to go out and do whatever they want. When we played against Lyon in the Europa League, he was amazing. He’s a top player.”

🚨Napoli have joined the race to sign Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Giovani Lo Celso for a fee of around €35m. 🔵🇦🇷 #Napoli Giovani Lo Celso was one of four senior players left out of Spurs’ recent pre-season tour by Antonio Conte along with Harry Winks and Tanguy Ndombele. https://t.co/dHPdwjFvLs


Declan Rice praises his fellow Premier League stars

Boyhood Hammer Rice became the club’s new captain following the retirement of Mark Noble, although he was constantly linked with a move away from the club.

During the interview, Rice also praised several legendary midfielders who also graced the Premier League. The West Ham talisman said (according to The Echo of Liverpool):

“There are so many (good midfielders) that I can’t even describe or pick one. De Bruyne was just special, the way he thinks about the game, the position he takes for a midfielder holder is horrible he just makes you think Same with David Silva when he was in the Prem (sic) he was exactly the same couldn’t get close technically one and two touches were only one length ahead of everyone.

“(Eden) Hazard when he was in the Premier League with Chelsea, I was just getting started but he was so quick, so nimble. Even when I played against Thiago at Liverpool, last season, he’s so silky. He plays the game at his own pace, he was okay.”

Declan Rice on the best midfielders he’s faced: “[Kevin] De Bruyne was just special, the way he thinks about the game, the position he takes for a starting midfielder is horrible, he just makes you think…”


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