Declan Rice’s rapid upward trajectory shows no signs of slowing down after a man-of-the-match performance against Tottenham that won widespread praise from fans and team-mates alike.
Son Heung-min and Pedro Obiang each scored a stunner as Spurs were held by West Ham to a 1-1 draw at Wembley, with 18-year-old Rice playing a starring role in the backs-to-wall defensive performance.
Spurs had hit 20 shots by the time the Hammers took the lead with their first, with goalkeeper Adrian forced into six saves against their London neighbours.
The shot-stopper was full of praise for the Republic of Ireland U21 international, who lined up alongside Angelo Obinze Ogbonna and Winston Reid in back three.
"I congratulated Declan after the game, because it was a big match in a massive stadium against a good team like Tottenham," he said of Rice's eye-catching display.
"He did very well in defence, he did his job, so I have to congratulate him."
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill is likely to be keeping close tabs on the defender and did include English-born Rice in a training squad last year.
Without a senior cap in a competitive game however, England could still attempt to lure the player into their own ranks.
The teenager made his Premier League debut on the final day of last season against Burnley and has made appeared in half of West Ham’s 22 league outings this term.