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West Ham boss Pellegrini: Rice just like Mascherano

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has likened Declan Rice to Barcelona hero Javier Masherano.

Pellegrini said Rice's maturity reminds him of former Hammers favourite Javier Mascherano. The pair worked together briefly at Corinthians in 2003.

Pellegrini said: “I started with Javier Mascherano when he was 17 years old and he was similar to Declan Rice in his mentality.

“When they are 17 or 19 years old it seemed that they have the mentality of 35 years old.

“When you are 17, 18, 19 years old and arrive to the first team, playing in the first team changes a bit your mind and you think that you are ready but in the case of Declan he knows that he is [just] starting and that is important.

“I didn't worry that he would be distracted because I know him.

“When there was all the rumours about the contract, that he would renew, that he would not renew, he never had any problems on the pitch.

“He worked exactly the same whether he was earning some amount of money or more amount of money or if he was going to play for Ireland or England.

“He never changed. He has the mind of a mature player.

“He is always listening when you talk to him, always trying to learn from another player that has more experience and you see that he is improving in every training session he does here."

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