Former Chelsea winger, Joe Cole has hailed Arsenal and Chelsea target Declan Rice, describing the England midfielder as the ‘best player on the pitch by a mile’ as England began their Euro 2024 qualifying series on a bright note, beating Italy 2-1 in Naples.
Rice scored England’s opener after just 13 minutes in Naples before Harry Kane scored from the penalty spot to give the Three Lions a historic win away in Italy for the first time since 1961.
And former Chelsea and England forward singled out West Ham United’s Rice for praise and said the West Ham star was ‘outstanding from start to finish’.
“Declan Rice was the best player on the pitch by a mile,” Cole said on Channel 4. “It was terrible defending for the goal, but he’s alive to it.
“If it’s a centre-forward we’re talking about instinct. He was outstanding from start to finish.
“But I’ve got to say I’m baffled by Italy’s defending. This is a country known for their defending but it was unacceptable from Italy in that first half,” he said.