Declan Rice Rice believes Jesse Lingard has already re-established himself as one of the best players in the Premier League.
Lingard had been a fixture in the England squad when Rice made his international debut in the summer of 2019.
But just as Rice’s England career was starting, it looked like Lingard’s might be coming to an end.
But after almost two years out of Gareth Southgate’s plans, Lingard is back in the fold and, according to his temporary West Ham team-mate, in the form of his life.
Rice says: “Jesse is just such a great character and he has just added a lot to West Ham.
“There is no doubt that he is one of the best players in the league right now in terms of form.”
And Rice feels Lingard has often been unjustly criticised over his off-field image.
Rice explains: “I knew him from when I first joined up with England two years ago and he was in the squad.
“I think people have the wrong perception of what he is from social media – his Instagram and all that type of stuff.
“Now, having him at West Ham, he’s just got that infectious personality and the lads have really bought in to him, the lads all love him.
“He is a great person to be around. You can see that here as well. He has been away from the squad for two years but he has come back in and all the lads are buzzing to see him. He is making everyone laugh.”