West Ham captain Declan Rice has been described as world class by a former player and pundit following comments from others in recent weeks.

The Hammers midfielder once again demonstrated his qualities this week with a man of the match performance and goal in England’s Euro 2024 qualifier victory over Italy in Naples.

Prior to the game, Graeme Souness had suggested that Rice needed to add more to his game to be considered world class, however former Watford striker Troy Deeney has rubbished these claims stating that Rice is up there with the worlds best.

“Graeme’s opinion is that to be a world-class midfielder, you need to create and score more goals. He feels Declan does not do that,” said Deeney in his column for The Sun.

“But you can rattle off loads of names who don’t score loads — N’Golo Kante, Casemiro, Rodri, Thomas Partey and Toni Kroos to name a few.”

Deeney feels that Rice is now within the bracket of those players mentioned, dismissing the notion from Souness that Rice falls short in departments to be considered at that level within the game.

“For me, Declan is world class,” added Deeney. “This kid plays so many games a year and is still a young man getting used to that.

“I thought Graeme Souness’ criticism of Declan Rice was quite harsh.”

Rice is expected to feature for England again later today when the Three Lions take on Ukraine at Wembley to continue the March towards the European Championships next year.