Keira Walsh column: I had to leave a club I loved to compete with the best… and so did Declan Rice

Right now he is playing brilliantly in a World Cup and people are talking about him as one of the best midfielders in the world.

If I were him I would want to play Champions League football every year in a team with players who are going to push me, and for him to step up he has to play with those players every day . , playing against players like Real Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Bayern Munich.

It’s difficult because West Ham means so much to him. He started his professional career there, they gave him a chance, a Premier League start, and he worked his way up to become one of their most established players.

For Declan, it’s probably a good time to step up and try to play for one of the best teams in Europe.

That’s how I felt when I left Manchester City to join Barcelona. It wasn’t an easy decision – I loved the club and I still do – but it was the right time to play somewhere I’m not so comfortable, where I might not play- not be every week or wouldn’t be sure to start.

Playing with these girls in training makes me a better player, just like playing in the Champions League, which I couldn’t do last year and wouldn’t do this year if I had stayed.

Keira Walsh plays for Man City against Barcelona, ​​a year before joining the Spanish giants.

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For Declan, it’s probably a good time to step up and try to play for one of the best teams in Europe. He will obviously be crucial for England against Senegal on Sunday, but it will be interesting to see how the midfield forms around him.

I’ve been a bit surprised at how much of a role Jordan Henderson has played so far, simply because he hasn’t played much for England recently, but his intensity is second to none when it comes to how he can move the rest of the team forward.

Especially when you don’t have the ball, when you press, he tells everyone where to go, you hear him scream. Going back to my days at City, that was probably me, but I’m more laid back now – I don’t speak Spanish so I can’t really be the one telling the players what to do!

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Playing with players like that who are just relentless, someone like Georgia Stanway, I can totally understand why Gareth Southgate went with him and it worked out really well.

Then you have Jude Bellingham and Mason Mount in more advanced roles. I have seen reviews for Mason which are unfair in my opinion. He does things you don’t see a lot of No10s do and his work rate, to me, is unmatched – I think if you were to look at his GPS stats, they would be off the charts.

When Jude plays, it feels smoother because he can also spin and sink deeper. You’ve seen Declan many times feel more confident to carry on, and Henderson can do both. It gives them more freedom, whereas when Mason is in there he plays the No10 single higher, trying to find pockets of space when it’s more structured, which is difficult. Either is a good option, but Jude also brings more of a goal threat.

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