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‘A legend in his own right’ – Declan Rice told how he can emulate Frank Lampard by man who nurtured both at West Ham

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DECLAN RICE can emulate Frank Lampard and become a midfield legend.

West Ham’s iconic former youth director Tony Carr brought both stars through the East Londoners’ storied Academy of Football.

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Tony Carr says there are ‘many similarities’ between Declan Rice and Frank Lampard[/caption]
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Lampard started his career at West Ham before moving to Chelsea[/caption]
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West Ham academy legend Tony Carr with Lampard at his testimonial last year[/caption]
Rice has carried the ball the furthest in the league this season

And Rice’s former mentor thinks the Irons vice-captain is well on the way to becoming world class — if he can add goals to his game like Lamps.

Rice, 23, is set to make his 28th England appearance against Switzerland on Saturday.

And Carr, 71, who dedicated 43 years of his life to developing youngsters at his beloved Hammers, said: “There are many similarities between Frank and Dec.

“Passing, vision, passion, dedication and fitness. And humility. They both have it in abundance.

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“The only thing missing for Declan is Frank would score 20 goals a season.

“But to be a true all-round midfielder, Dec has to chip in with at least eight to ten every campaign.

“He has some way to go but is heading in the same direction as Frank. It’s a target to emulate Frank’s achievements and become a legend in his own right.”

Carr produced West Ham and England’s “Golden Generation” including Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, Glen Johnson and Jermain Defoe.

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The ex-Hammers striker, whose playing career was cut short by a bad leg break, also signed Rice from Chelsea after in 2013, aged 14.

Rice, who has played 183 Hammers games, has gone from strength to strength since Carr left West Ham in 2016.

And he is the last of many gems the Bow-born coach placed on the Chadwell Heath conveyor belt.

Yet when Rice and Lampard were teenagers, Carr had no idea what they would accomplish.

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Rice leading West Ham out ahead of their game against Sevilla[/caption]

He said: “It’s hard to see what players will achieve at 15 or 16.

“At that age you could never have known Frank was going to be Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer.

“But when Dec first arrived, he had some outstanding traits.

“He could pass, didn’t need many touches to see the bigger picture and had a top attitude.

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Rice is ‘eager to learn,’ says Carr[/caption]

“Dec was always on the front foot and was eager to learn.

“But Dec and Frank both had leadership qualities.

“They were never afraid to take possession, even if they were 2-0 down with the crowd on their backs.

“They always wanted the ball and to get involved.

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Rice is the Hammers’ captain in Noble’s absence[/caption]

“David Moyes has seen that in Dec, and handed him the West Ham captaincy, when Mark Noble doesn’t play.”

Rice has two England goals and has made himself Three Lions’ No 1 centre-midfield pick, ahead of Leeds ace Kalvin Phillips and Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson.

And Carr says it can last as long as Rice wants — now he has earned the respect of senior players.

He added: “England don’t have a better midfielder than Declan. Phillips and Henderson are great but they are not better than Dec.

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Rice was one of England’s standout performers in the Euro 2020 final[/caption]

“He must be one of the first names on Southgate’s list and how long that lasts is up to Declan.

“The management and seasoned players respect him, which is huge. Now it is about how long he keeps his love for the game

Lampard scored 211 Chelsea goals  between 2001 and 2014 — a goals-per-game ratio of 0.33.

The Everton boss also scored 29 in 106 England matches.

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Rice is a key member of Southgate’s Three Lions squad[/caption]

Rice’s nine in 183 games for West Ham in all competitions gives him a 0.05 per-game ratio which Carr says must improve to become world class. He said: “He’s an outstanding player.

“But to be world class, he needs to chip in with more goals. But he is on his way.”

-Tony Carr’s autobiography: A lifetime in football at West Ham United is published April 7.

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