His name might be tarnished around this part of the world, but Declan Rice is the best all-round midfielder in the Premier League, according to John Giles.
West Ham are flying high in fourth position at the time of writing, and it is in no small part to the excellent form of the former Ireland under-age midfielder.
With Frank Lampard leaving Chelsea earlier this week, Rice might have one fewer admirer, but Giles believes that any club who buy him are getting a future star.
John Giles on Declan Rice
"I think he is the best midfield player in the Premier League - the best all-round.
"You have De Bruyne who is brilliant at what he does, but he is not controlling the game in the way that Rice is.
"He is defending well, he is attacking well, he is using the ball well. He is a beautifully-balanced lad for his size.
"I think I said at the start of the season that if I was in charge of Manchester City, I would have paid whatever they want for Rice as a centre-back.
"As it happens, Dias and Stones are doing very well at centre-back, but if you are seeing what we are seeing with Rice - if he went to the back, he would stroll through it.
"He is the best all-round midfielder in the Premier League. His attitude is great, he has good control, he can deliver the ball and is a good lad as well."
Giles believes that Rice would improve 'any team that could afford him.'
"I think he would be brilliant for Manchester United in the middle of midfield, but for anyone looking for a central defensive player, he would be my man."
Meanwhile, Giles is a fan of the job that former United manager David Moyes is doing with West Ham.
The Hammers can reasonably be chasing European football in this oddest of seasons, and Giles believes the Scot deserves great credit.
"Every season before he went there, they were relegation candidates, now he has done a solid job there. Moving [Michail] Antonio up front has been a huge plus for him.
"He was playing wide on the wings, now as a centre-forward and a strong lad, he has really come good for them."
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