Latest news a big boost to the West Ham academy

West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice is among the nominees for the PFA Young Player of the Year Award.

The 20-year-old has endured a breakthrough season and could be a future star in the making.

Rice has established himself as a first-team regular within the Hammers setup, scored his first Premier League goal and to top it off, he recently made his England debut during a Euro 2020 qualification match against Czech Republic.

Rice had a very difficult decision to make this season as he agreed to switch his international allegiance from the Republic of Ireland to England.

The West Ham man previously played for the Republic of Ireland at youth level and also represented the nation’s senior side three times.

However, those appearances came in friendly internationals and he was thereafter still able to switch international allegiance as he had not played for them in a competitive fixture.

The West Ham academy can certainly claim credit for Rice’s rise. He is after all a product of the Hammers youth development system after joining the club as a youth player in 2014 after Chelsea decided to let go of him.

Other players who have been nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year Award include Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva of Manchester City, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford as well as David Brooks of Bournemouth.

If Rice ends up winning the award, he will become the third West Ham player to do so after Mervyn Day in 1974/75 and Tony Cottee in 1985/86.

“I am proud and honoured to have been nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award”, said Rice as quoted by the West Ham website. 

“Any time you receive recognition is welcome, but it is extra special when you know it has come from the players who you play against week-in, week-out in the Premier League.

“It has already been an amazing season for me personally and I hope now I can help the team finish strongly.”