Tony Cottee says West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice has the personality to go on and captain both club and country.
Speaking to The Football show, former Hammer Cottee heaped praise on the youngster, having been impressed with both his ability and his attitude.
“He’s an outstanding young player and more importantly, he’s a really nice guy.
“He’s a bit of a throwback as in he’s 20 but he’s like an old school centre half.”
The London-born star opted to play for England earlier this year despite representing the Republic of Ireland at youth level.
Following a string of impressive performances for the Hammers this season, Rice earned a call-up from Gareth Southgate for the Three Lions’ recent Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro respectively.
The 20-year old made his debut in the 5-0 Wembley win against the Czechs as a 63rd minute substitute, before making his first start in Podgorica as England ran out 5-1 winners.
Cottee, who made 336 appearances for the West Ham across two spells, thinks Rice has a bright future after witnessing his character first hand.
“I went to the West Ham end of season awards last year. They said the players are going to sign loads of autographs and of course, as soon as it finished, everyone bolted out the door.”
“No-one stood there to sign autographs, which is fine, it happens. Declan was the last person to leave the building.
“He was there til 2am having a chat and just being among the fans.”
Cottee believes these character traits are exactly what will take Rice to the very top.
“He’s an old school character, got a lovely family around him, he’s a future West Ham captain and, I think, a future England captain.
“I’m so pleased for him but there’s more to come.”