The midfielder has started all four of the Three Lions’ games thus far and looks all-but certain to do so again in Saturday’s huge quarter-final against France.
Rice, who also played a key role in the journey to the Euro 2020 final, has talked up England’s chances of toppling the world champions.
If they are to do so, the 23-year-old will be crucial. The threat of Kylian Mbappe – top scorer in Qatar so far – is hard to ignore and Rice’s defensive work in midfield will be pivotal to stopping the Paris Saint-Germain forward.
Wartburton was speaking after West Ham beat Cambridge United on Tuesday evening. The Irons took a makeshift squad to the Abbey Stadium and ran out 4-2 winners, with Jarrod Bowen, Said Benrahma and Pierre Ekwah on target.
“Dec [Rice] has been outstanding,” he said.
“I’m not saying that with a biased hat on, but I think the manner and level of his performance, the energy and the commitment and no doubt about the quality.
“I’m really pleased for him and of course I’m English so I’m delighted to see him do well, so all eyes on Saturday [against France in the quarter-final] now.”