Declan Rice likened to Gazza by Joe Cole as fans ask if pundit ‘banged his head’
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    Fans have ripped into Joe Cole after the former West Ham star compared Declan Rice to Paul Gascoigne.

    Cole made the comparison while working as a pundit on BT Sport’s coverage of Crystal Palace’s thrilling 4-3 win over the Hammers, claiming he could walk into any top club in Europe.

    “He is an all-round midfielder. A lot of criticism has come his way about not scoring,” said Cole. “When we see him playing for England and he plays a role he really controls it from there and he breaks up play, that is what he does very very well but he's added [goals] to his game.

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    “For me, it's not a necessity it is a bonus. I said it on the night, this is Paul Gascoigne-like, at his pomp.

    “But he's got that in his locker and I just think there's going to be so many suitors for him at the end of the season as clubs all around Europe will want Declan Rice in their team. West Ham have got a real, real gem and credit to him for getting so fast to 200 games.”

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    While Rice is enjoying a strong end to the season, as well as being instrumental in the Hammers’ run to the last four of the Europa Conference League, the comparison with Gazza – widely regarded as the finest English player of his generation – was a step too far for some fans.

    One fumed: “Joe Cole needs sectioning! He’s just put Declan Rice on a par with Gazza.”

    A second added: “Joe Cole comparing Declan Rice to Gazza is the most ridiculous thing he has ever said. Rice scored a good goal against poor European opposition. The most overrated player of the last 20 years.”

    A third asked: “Did Cole just compare Rice to Gascoigne? Dear god.” Another fan said: “Oh Joe, have you banged your head? Pop to A&E urgently!!”


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