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Highly-rated Ireland youth international included on West Ham's bench today

Declan Rice could be one for the future.

Rice played for the Hammers in their pre-season game against Seattle Sounders.
Rice played for the Hammers in their pre-season game against Seattle Sounders.
Image: Ted S. Warren

PROMISING IRISH DEFENDER Declan Rice was an unused substitute for West Ham in the Premier League today as Slaven Bilic’s side earned a valuable three points with a 4-1 win at Swansea.

The 17-year-old centre-back, who has also captained the Hammers’ U23 side, signed his first professional contract in December and was named the Academy’s Player of the Year at the end of last season.

Rice, who can also play as a defensive midfielder, made his breakthrough in the development squad last term as the club’s U21 side lifted the Premier League Cup and featured in the squad’s pre-season tour of the United States this season.

It has been reported that Arsenal are closely monitoring Rice’s progression, with one eye on making a bid for the promising Ireland underage international.

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