Declan Rice proved the match winner for West Ham as his side overcame Arsenal at the Olympic Stadium in the early kick-off.
The combative midfielder showed another side of his game in the win, popping up with a sweetly struck winner after 48 minutes after being teed up by Samir Nasri in the box.
It was his first goal in a West Ham shirt, and after the game there was widespread praise for the teenager from pundits and team mates alike, with Hammers captain Mark Noble citing Rice as a shining example to young footballers:
It's been a really special six months for Declan, he's just signed a long term contract with the club, scored the winner against Arsenal. I'll be surprised if he sleeps tonight.
We're all here and can see what a special talent he is. He keeps working hard he's on the training pitch every day improving. To any young players around the country if you want someone to look up to, Declan's your man.
"We've been on at him all the time in training all the time, he keeps missing!" ?
Mark Noble has praised Declan Rice after today's match-winning goal, explaining how the player is a favourite within the squad and amongst the fans. ⬆ pic.twitter.com/5upIE1yJ0D
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 12, 2019
In the Sky Sports studio, Jamie Redknapp was similarly effusive in his praise of Rice, citing his all round performance in the 1-0 win:
It wasn't just the goal it was his all round performance. Everything that he did today, the amount of times he snuffed out an attack from Arsenal. He'd get it, he'd keep it simple.
He reads the game well but he keeps it simple.
Jack Wilshire was also in studio commenting on his side's win and said that his team mate is among the best defensive mids in the league:
I'm trying to think of a defensive midfielder in the Premier League that does it better than him, I'm not saying he's the best in the league, he has a long way to go but he's on the right track, his reading of the game, his maturity, today I saw he wanted to get forward a little more if he can bring that to his game he'll be a real talent.
He's been arguably West Ham's best player this season, most consistent.
In his post match interview manager Manuel Pellegrini stated that if he continues his development, then Rice has a big future in the game:
I think we are seeing a complete player that's 19 year's old, I'm sure in the future he will be a top top player.
Heady praise for the youngster, but with his performances so far this season, wholly deserved.
Now all we need is for him to declare for Ireland and we can all properly get on the Rice hype train.