Danny Murphy has hit out at Roy Keane over his ‘harsh’ criticism of Declan Rice, insisting the West Ham midfielder ‘has a super future ahead of him’.
Keane unleashed a stinging verdict on the 20-year-old following his performance for England in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Kosovo.
It was his first start for the Three Lions since their shock 2-1 defeat to Czech Republic, and he was overshadowed by midfielder partner Harry Winks who opened the scoring and was named Man-of-the-Match.
Following the game, the Manchester United legend was asked where Rice could improve, to which Keane replied: ‘Where do I start?’
He went on to say he needs to improve in ALL areas of his game and that he ‘worries about his football intelligence’.
But Murphy says the Irishman’s comments were out of order, hailing the West Ham youngster as a ‘wonderful player’.
And he wonders if Keane is still bitter over Rice ditching the Republic of Ireland and switching his international allegiance to England at the start of the year.
“I think Roy Keane went over the top,” the former England international told Jim White on talkSPORT.
“There’s probably a little bit in him that is still not happy with him jumping ship from Ireland to England – I think he made the right decision if I’m being honest.
“Declan is a wonderful player and he’s only 20 years old.
“He’s been playing every week for West Ham in the Premier League from the age of 18 or 19, and for the majority of the past season-and-a-half he has been their best player.
“He’s progressed more than anyone ever thought he would really quickly, which is credit to him and that suggests to me that he does have football intelligence.
“He’s moved from a defensive position into midfield and you have to learn that role and you learn as you play, so he’s going to have good and bad games. It’s inevitable when you’re 20, no matter who you play for.
“I think his position play is very good and I think he spots danger and tracks runs very well. He’s very disciplined, hence all the plaudits he’s got.
“I think it’s a little bit harsh.
“Remember, he’s playing at West Ham and they’re struggling. He’s not playing with the top, top players every week, he’s not at Man City or Liverpool.
“I think Declan has a super future ahead of him and I’m sure he’s the type of lad who will take a bit of criticism on the chin and keep doing what he’s doing.
“He works hard and he’s got a great future.”
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