Declan Rice Follows In Lampard's Footsteps In Winning West Ham Return Against Dinamo Zagreb | AfroNaija

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Declan Rice follows in Lampard’s footsteps in winning West Ham return against Dinamo Zagreb

Declan Rice follows in Lampard’s footsteps in winning West Ham return against Dinamo Zagreb

West Ham win in return to Europe

David Moyes’ storied revival of West Ham continued tonight when the Hammers ran out 2-0 winners against Croatian giant Dinamo Moscow at the Stadion Maksimir in a triumphant return to Europe after a five-year absence. Goals from in-form striker Michail Antonio and England youngster Declan Rice sealed all three points on either side of the break as West Ham began play in Group H away from the London Stadium.

But it was Rice that stole the headlines on the night, when the 22-year-old became the youngest West Ham player to find the back of the net on a European night since England icon Frank Lampard (21 years/88 days) scored against another Croatian club – NK Osijek – during the 1999-00 UEFA Cup campaign.

Rice continues to cement his stature in England and potential Chelsea return

Tonight was another offering in a career that has taken Declan Rice to the top of the pyramid for England under Gareth Southgate, while his star continues to rise on the domestic front.

The Kingston upon Thames-native spent eight years in Chelsea’s Cobham academy before being prized away by the Hammers, who finalized his education before Rice made his debut for the club in 2016-17 and subsequently making a full breakthrough into the first team in 2017-18.

Declan Rice joins Lampard in prestigious West Ham club following solo stunner in Dinamo win

TIRANA, ALBANIA – MARCH 28: Harry Kane of England celebrates with team mates (L – R) Declan Rice, John Stones and Mason Mount after scoring their side’s first goal during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar qualifying match between Albania and England at Arena Kombëtare on March 28, 2021 in Tirana, Albania. Sporting stadiums around Europe remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

As of tonight, the 22-year-old has featured 150-times for West Ham in his young but already impressive career, while being capped by England on twenty-six occasions (and scoring twice) which included influential displays in a midfield tandem alongside Kalvin Phillips that pushed England to the finals of Euro 2020 this past summer.

Rice has become a mainstay at the London Stadium, but has long been linked with interest from Chelsea who look to perpetrate a return for the former youth talent.

Manchester United have also put their name in the Rice sweepstakes, as the club have earmarked him as their principle target for next summers shopping list.

A night like tonight is one to remember for the budding England star, but it also serves as a reminder that while West Ham have done brilliantly to push up the pyramid under David Moyes, a talent of Rice’s ability and potential will always draw the eye of the biggest fish.

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Aminat Aigbe

Aminat Aigbe is the first lady of afronaija and a very good blogger ( Original Mrs AfroNaija )

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