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West Ham's Nasri: There is still room for improvement with Declan

PUBLISHED: 16:30 20 March 2019

West Ham United's Declan Rice during the Premier League match at The Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth.

West Ham United's Declan Rice during the Premier League match at The Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth.

PA Wire/PA Images

Hammers midfielder full of praise as Rice looks for first England cap

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (left) and West Ham United's Declan Rice (right) battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (left) and West Ham United's Declan Rice (right) battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

Experienced West Ham midfielder Samir Nasri says there is still room for improvement in his team-mate Declan Rice.

The 20-year-old is training with England for the first time this week in readiness for a European Championship qualifier against the Czech Republic on Friday.

And Nasri is convinced that he will do a fine job for England.

“As a young player he is really, really good with a bright future,” said the 31-year-old France international.

West Ham United midfielder Samir Nasri (right) was signed by manager Manuel Pelligrini in December. Photo: Yui Mok/PAWest Ham United midfielder Samir Nasri (right) was signed by manager Manuel Pelligrini in December. Photo: Yui Mok/PA

“What I like the most about him is that he is hungry. He wants to learn and that is important.

“When you are 18 or 19 your game is not perfect and he is going to improve,” he continued.

So where does Nasri think he can improve?

“For me his biggest weakness, if we are going to find a weakness, is that he needs to go forward more when he gets the ball and take his chances because he has a good shot.

Samir Nasri on the attack against HuddersfieldSamir Nasri on the attack against Huddersfield

“He needs to switch things like Mark (Noble) does, but defensively he is a beast and tackling he is a beast also! I’m really impressed with him.”

Nasri also had plenty of praise for striker Javier Hernandez, who came off the bench, like him, to inspire the remarkable comeback win against Huddersfield on Saturday.

“I think he is a poacher and you have to play him in the box,” added the Frenchman.

“It is a bit more difficult for him against a big centre-back, but he is really smart, he is sneaky and like a South American style of striker.

“If you play it to him in the box, he is going to score goals. He did it with Manchester United and every club he has been at.”

West Ham have no game this weekend because of the international break, but after the substitutes came up trumps against Huddersfield, Nasri thinks it will be tough to pick a starting XI for the visit of Everton the following weekend.

“We have a really, really strong squad and we are still missing Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko who are very strong, offensive players with a lot of talent,” said Nasri.

“I would not like to be the manager in the next few weeks because he is going to have headaches picking his starting XI.

“It is important that everybody feels a part of things; we are all pushing for a place and that is the most important thing for us.”

West Ham have seven games to go, four of them away, as they look to finish seventh in the Premier League.

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