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Rice has a lot to learn, says Neville

Filed: Monday, 10th June 2019
By: Staff Writer

Gary Neville believes that Declan Rice "has a lot to learn" before becoming an accomplished international midfielder.

West Ham's young star featured for the vast majority of England's 3-1 Nation's League defeat against the Netherlands last weekend, an appearance for which he was generally praised.

But former Manchester United star Neville, who made 85 appearances for the Three Lions in an international career that spanned 12 seasons maintained instead that Rice has a long way to go before being considered as an international-quality player.

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"Declan Rice is a young player who was promising at West Ham, but for this young man this is a different level in terms of subtlety, acceptance of the ball and nuances," said the former right back following England's penalty shootout succcess against Switzerland in the Nation's League third-place play off.

"He still has a lot to learn to become an international top midfielder, but he has three or four years to do that. No other country in the top nations would bring a player so untested into midfield.

"We are still in a situation where, if you play 10, 15 or 20 games for a Premier League team in the top half of the table, you will be catapulted into a situation that is somewhat unfair."

And Neville continued with his criticism of Rice and the rest of England's midfield when he insisted that Gareth Southagte's side were technically deficient when in possession of the ball.

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"The deep, embedded problem for English football and England teams is that they had no options to play through midfield," he said when asked to assess the performance against Holland.

"Until we have players who can receive the ball on the half-turn, itís so critical. Individual errors are the issue, but gluing together the back to the front in midfield is the biggest thing. Not just this England team, but England teams for 25, 30 years."

* What did you make of Declan Rice's performance against the Dutch? Let us know in the Comments section below or via the KUMB Forum.

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