West Ham star Declan Rice has admitted that finishing third for the FWA Men’s Player of the year award shows that he is on the right track but he believes that he can improve even further. The Hammers midfielder finished third behind only Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne for the award.
Over the years despite West Ham’s struggles, Declan Rice has still managed to stand out for the Hammers with him now playing a key role under David Moyes. So much so, that the 23-year-old’s transformation from a center-back into a defensive midfielder and West Ham captain has turned heads all over Europe. Not only that, it has seen Rice become a mainstay in the England squad and the midfielder has now been linked to some of Europe’s biggest sides.
However, that form and stature has yet to reveal itself in individual awards although Rice’s performances this season has seen him finish third in the race for the Football Writers' Association Men's Player of the Year award. The award was handed to Mohamed Salah with Kevin De Bruyne finishing second but Rice believes that his finish shows just how far he has come. But the 23-year-old added that he still has a lot he can do to improve and believes that he will do just that over the next few years.
"It's not bad (on finishing third in the FWA Men’s Player of the Year race). I would like to have won it, but obviously up against Salah and De Bruyne it's hard to say, because I can never imagine putting my name with those types of players,” Rice told Sky Sports.
"To come third, it shows that people have appreciated what I've done on the football pitch. This season, I feel like I've taken another step in the right direction in my career, but I'm still only 23 and trust me, I know myself and I've got so much more that I can let out of the bag.
"I know that, my coaches tell me that and I think it just comes with time and as I get older, it'll keep coming and coming. I feel like you're only seeing the start of me. I'm going to keep pushing and getting better."