‘Best player on the pitch’ – Joe Cole hails Chelsea transfer target after goal in Euro 2024 qualifier

Joe Cole
Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Joe Cole hailed Chelsea target Declan Rice as the ‘best player on the pitch by a mile’ after the midfielder scored in England’s 2-1 victory over Italy in an Euro 2024 qualifier.

“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.

“Most of the defenders just switch off. But Rice deserves credit because it takes it like a centre-forward, he did really well there.”