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Declan Rice describes midfielder who could replace Thomas Partey as ‘one of the best’

Declan Rice has been speaking to TalkSPORT while away on international duty with England.

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Declan Rice is currently away on international duty with England with the aim of finishing the Euro 2024 qualification campaign in style against North Macedonia tonight.

England beat Malta at Wembley on Friday night ahead of tonight’s match which will see them close out qualification sitting top of group C and in pot one for the Euros next year.

England have a great chance of winning a major tournament for the first time since 1966 with Declan Rice at the heart of Gareth Southgate’s side. The Arsenal man regularly plays alongside Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips who he’s given his verdict on this week during the international break.

Kalvin Phillips has been linked with a move to Arsenal in the past with the England international currently struggling for game time under Pep Guardiola and could reportedly leave in the January transfer window.

Arsenal are among the clubs who are keen on the 27-year-old, with the Gunners looking to sign a midfielder when the window opens in just over a month’s time as it looks increasingly likely that Thomas Partey will leave North London.

Declan Rice speaking on Kalvin Phillips: “He’s one of the best professionals I’ve ever seen, if I’m honest with you.

“I’ve seen players who don’t play and throw their toys out of the pram completely and with Kal, every time he comes back here he pops on a shirt and puts in 110 per cent.

READ MORE: Mikel Arteta has blocked Arsenal player from leaving the club in January.

“He played with me against Scotland and I think that was his first start in a while and he played really well, so I’ll never question his professionalism and I don’t think any of the lads will.

“As a person as well, he’s an all-round top guy and he brings that onto the pitch. It’s obviously difficult when you’re not playing as a footballer and I know he wants to be playing more, for sure, but mentally he hasn’t broken.

“He hasn’t thrown his toys out of the pram. He gives everything every day, he still improves and still plays with a smile on his face so I can’t speak highly enough of him.”

Kalvin Phillips might not have made the impact that was expected of him at Manchester City, but that shouldn’t be a reason why he can’t be a star at Arsenal, if a move was to materialise in January.

Since signing for Manchester City, Phillips has been battling Rodri for a spot in the starting eleven, who is the best defensive midfielder in the world on current form, so it’s no surprise he’s been struggling for game time at club level over the past year.

Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips have shown on multiple occasions for England that they have a great partnership on the pitch, so I think the former Leeds midfielder would be the ideal replacement for Thomas Partey if he is to leave the club in January.

Clearly Declan Rice thinks the same.

NEXT ARTICLE: Graeme Souness urges Arsenal star to stay and fight for his place under Mikel Arteta.

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