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Jack Wilshere has angered Liverpool supporters after claiming his former West Ham teammate Declan Rice is a more complete player than Reds midfielder Fabinho.
Rice, 23, produced another impressive display on Thursday night as the Hammers ground out a 1-1 draw with Lyon in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final at the London Stadium.
West Ham were reduced to 10 men before half-time when Aaron Creswell was sent off but the home side escaped with a deserved point - Jarrod Bowen putting them ahead before Tottenham loanee Tanguy Ndombele equalised for the visitors.
Rice helped restrict Lyon to a handful of clear-cut chances in the second half and Wilshere believes the England international is now the best defensive midfielder in world football.
He tweeted: “Tell me a better DMF than Declan Rice right now? Can't think of anyone can do what Dec can..”
A Liverpool fan then replied: “So you haven't seen Fabinho who has been doing it for a good couple of years now? Ok.”
To which Wilshere responded: “Doesn't have the presence Dec has. Dec can do everything he can and more.”
Wilshere’s comments sparked an angry response from some Liverpool supporters keen to defend Fabinho, who has won the Champions League, Premier League and Carabao Cup since arriving at Anfield in 2018.
So you haven't seen Fabihno who has been doing it for a good couple of years now? Ok— Miki Stylz (@StylzMiki) April 7, 2022
Doesn't have the presence Dec has. Dec can do everything he can and more. https://t.co/tHW4fLpVyY— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) April 7, 2022
“So Fabinho can tackle, pass long or short, assist, score, play multiply positions, dribble past players.. what the hell can rice do that Fabinho can’t?,” wrote one fan.
Another added: “Rice plays in 2 defensive teams, West Ham & England, 2 sitting midfielders, never really exposed.
“He'd be absolutely found out if he tried to do what Fabinho does for Liverpool. Different levels I'm afraid.”
West Ham could struggle to keep hold of Rice this summer, with Manchester United and Chelsea both strongly linked with the midfielder.
The same Fabinho who run the Monaco midfield . Tbh Rice won’t start at Liverpool— OMAR AKBAR 🐺 (@Adi_badazz) April 8, 2022
Not even ‘Dec’ himself agrees with him! pic.twitter.com/LrvSnMF30o— Alex Prior (@AlexPrior10) April 7, 2022
So Fabinho can tackle, pass long or short, assist, score, play multiply positions, dribble past players.. what the hell can rice do that Fabinho can’t..— Paul (@PDLFC10) April 7, 2022
Rice is fantastic. But Fabinho is world class.— Greg (@Reginald5575) April 7, 2022
Hammers boss David Moyes insists Rice is worth more than £150m in the current market but is reluctant to cash in.
“The first thing to say is that he is not for sale,” said Moyes.
“But if you are interested, it will be north of that, because £100m was cheap last summer and £150m just now would be minimum - but he is not for sale.”
Is Rice the best defensive midfielder in world football? Let us know your thoughts.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images
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