Roy Keane’s brutally honest assessment of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice unsurprisingly raised eyebrows on Sunday evening.
The Manchester United legend criticised Rice when asked about what he needs to do to cement his position as an England regular after being recalled for the final Euro 2020 qualifier away to Kosovo.
“Where do we start,” Keane said, who went on to a list a number of reasons why Rice is nowhere near the finished product.
The 20-year-old midfielder has been regarded as one of the most promising defensive midfielders in the Premier League, but Keane was quick to shut down the notion that he is the complete player.
According to Manchester Evening News, Rice is a January transfer target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but there is an understanding that it will be very difficult to prize him away in the winter window.
West Ham Chairman David Gold has boldly defended Rice over Keane’s comments, branding the pundit arrogant to pick out the youngster for criticism.
“Keane needs to get over it. Declan made his choice and I think that is what’s behind it as far as Keane is concerned,” Gold told Claret and Hugh.
“It’s pretty shameful when a former professional talks the way he did about a young man. It was low, outrageous, unfair and arrogant to pick him out of all the England players.
“It wasn’t even an analysis of the boy who is 20 years old who has barely started his career in the international team for God’s sake.”
See Keane’s comments on Rice below:
'Where do you want me to start? His positional play, I don't think he has been consistent enough, he doesn't stay with runners…'
Roy Keane remains unconvinced by Declan Rice
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) November 17, 2019