Declan Rice labelled as ‘overrated’ by former teammate in brutal assessment

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Former Premier League player James McClean has stirred controversy by calling Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice overrated during a live broadcast on RTE Sport.

McClean, known for his forthright opinions, did not hold back in his assessment of the English international.

Declan Rice enjoyed a stellar debut season with Arsenal, playing a crucial role in their impressive Premier League title run.

Despite the Gunners falling short to Manchester City, who claimed their fourth consecutive title, Rice’s contributions were significant.

The midfielder scored seven goals and provided ten assists in 51 games across all competitions, establishing himself as a key player in Mikel Arteta’s squad.

James McClean’s harsh critique of Rice

McClean, who previously played alongside Rice in the Republic of Ireland national team before Rice switched allegiance to England, was critical of the high praise the midfielder receives from the English media.

Speaking on RTE Sport, he said:

“I think Declan Rice is overrated. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a very good footballer, but the way the English media wax lyrical about him is completely over the top.

‘For me, he’s not world class. To me world class is someone who gets in every side in the world. I don’t think he does that. I don’t think he gets in the Man City side ahead of Rodri. To me Toni Kroos is world class, He dictates the game, Rodri dictates the game, I don’t think Declan Rice does that.

“Someone who gets it on the half turn, plays passes forward. He’s very good at what he does.”

When questioned about the difference in play styles between Rice, Kroos, and Rodri, McClean insisted that Rice should be able to match the pair given that he plays in the same position.

“They play the same role, so why can’t they do the same things?” McClean added. “If you’re going to give him this much hype and reputation, surely he should be able to do what they do. He sees danger and he puts out fires, but for the hype that surrounds him, I don’t think it’s justified.”

Rice’s Big Money Move to Arsenal

Rice’s high-profile move to Arsenal last summer was one of the most talked-about transfers. The Gunners secured his services from West Ham United for a club-record fee of £105 million, making him one of the most expensive British players in history.

This move was seen as a statement of intent by Arsenal, aiming to strengthen their midfield and challenge for major trophies.

Despite McClean’s harsh criticism, Rice remains a key figure for both Arsenal and the England national team.

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