Declan Rice labelled 'very overrated' as Arsenal and England star's ex-team-mate lets rip – Football News

Declan Rice labelled 'very overrated' as Arsenal and England star's ex-team-mate lets rip

Declan Rice completed a £105m move to Arsenal last summer (Image: Getty)

Former Republic of Ireland international James McClean believes Declan Rice is ‘very overrated’ and wouldn’t get into Manchester City’s team. The two players shared a dressing room at international level during Rice’s brief time with Ireland, before he switched allegiances to England in 2019.

Rice earned three Irish caps when he was still a teenager, at a time when McClean was still a core member of the squad. It then came as a crushing blow to the Boys in Green when Rice U-turned to join up with the Three Lions.

While he is now widely regarded as one of the best midfielders at Euro 2024 with England, and one of the best in the Premier League with Arsenal, McClean does not believe his former team-mate deserves his stellar reputation.

“I think [Jamal] Musiala justifies the hype but Declan Rice is very overrated,” he told RTE Sport. “Don’t get me wrong, he’s a very good footballer. But the way the English media wax lyrical about him, I think it’s completely over the top.

“For me, he’s not world class. World class, to me, is someone who gets into every single side in the world, and I don’t think he does that. I don’t think he gets into Man City’s side ahead of Rodri.

“To me, Toni Kroos is world class, he dictates the game. Rodri dictates the game. I don’t think Declan Rice does that. He’s not someone who’s going to get on the half-turn and play passes forward.

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James McClean once shared a dressing room with Declan Rice at international level (Image: Getty)

“He’s very good at what he does, but they all play the same role, so why can’t they do the same things? If you’re going to give him this much of a hype and reputation, then surely he should be able to do what they do. He sees danger, he puts out fires. But for the hype that surrounds him, I don’t think it’s justified.”

Rice played the full 90 minutes of England’s narrow 1-0 win over Serbia on Sunday, and he is nailed on to start at the base of midfield against Denmark later today (Thursday).

Now 25 years old and with over 50 England caps on his CV, Rice came into the Euros off the back of a superb first season with Arsenal, where he appeared in every single one of their 2023/24 Premier League games and notched 15 goal contributions.

Rice spent time in Chelsea’s youth system but made his senior breakthrough at West Ham, racking up 245 first-team appearances for the Hammers before completing a £105million move to the Gunners last summer.