First published by thefootballfaithful.com

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has lavished praise on Declan Rice, describing the youngster as ‘a complete player’ following his performance in today’s 1-0 win over Arsenal at the London Stadium.

The Hammers put a serious dent in the Gunners hopes of finishing in the top four in Saturday’s early kick-off in East London, with Rice scoring the only goal of the game three minutes into the second half.

Speaking after the game, West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini was delighted with how his side played.

“I was pleased with the balance and consistency of the team. We did not allow Arsenal any chances despite their quality of players. We played with a mentality of a big team, always going for the second goal,” Pellegrini told Sky Sports.

“We have worked in the week like the way that we want to play. The principal issue for us.”

Despite coming through the ranks as a central defender, Declan Rice has been utilised as a holding midfielder this season by Pellegrini and having scored the winning goal against Arsenal, the Chilean lavished praise on the 19-year-old.

“Declan is improving in every game. I decided for him to be a midfielder, he is playing the ball forward more, he shoots well and goes forward well. He is a complete player. I think he will be a top player in the future.’’ Pellegrini added.

“I think Samir Nasri could have continued but I did not want to risk him a muscle injury. If he wants to be the player he was a few years ago I think he can be.”

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