Last updated: 19.12.19 23:24
Declan Rice doubted his chances of reaching the top, but West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini said he had always believed in the youngster.
Rice has recently admitted he lost his place following a 4-0 defeat in Liverpool on opening day of the season after losing his place, fearing he will not be in the Premier League.
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On Saturday night, Rice will face Manchester United as the mainstay for the West Ham team, an England international and a target for a number of top clubs.
After four defeats in a row, Pellegrini Rice finally lost for a 3-1 victory in Everton at the side – and the 20-year-old is since then.
Pellegrini said: "I never expected Declan to be lent early in the season.
"I do not know why he thought that because he had no options to borrow, maybe he was disappointed because he played the first game we lost, but I spoke to him the same day and said him that he would go Be an important player this season.
"Maybe it's a surprise for him because he did not play too many games last season and then lost that season and was out of the team for the next matches.
"Maybe he thought so, I never doubted that."
Rice fought alongside his teammates on Monday in a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea and Eden Hazard.
Nevertheless, he is a popular player, although Pellegrini has quickly rocked the rumors about a summer exit: "Declan is a player of our team and plays very well.
"Chelsea have very good players, but I think Declan's performance against Chelsea is exactly the same as Cardiff's and he's learning in every game he plays."
Michail Antonio is back in the West Ham squad for the trip to Old Trafford after shaking off an ankle strike.
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