Noble hoping ‘little brother’ Rice returns to West Ham as Euros winner

Rice, 22, captained West Ham for the majority of last season with Noble having dropped to the bench and has often hailed the Hammers veteran as an inspiration.

The West Ham academy graduate has shone with England at Euro 2020 this summer and is aiming to take the Three Lions into a first major tournament final since 1966 when they face Denmark on Wednesday night.

Should Rice and England get past Denmark and finalists Italy, Noble says it will be a special moment for the east London club.

Speaking to the club website, Noble said: “We all hope the next time that we see Declan he’s got a medal around his neck because that will be very special for us, the club and also himself.

“It has been an absolute joy watching him play at the Euros and emotional for myself at times because I still see him as a young kid coming into the team.

“I’ve got such a close relationship with him and his family. It goes beyond football, I see him as a little brother.

“We just hope he can keep on playing the way he does and keep on winning games and hopefully in a week’s time that he lifts that trophy, that would be very special.”

Noble is currently away in Scotland with West Ham for his final pre-season as a player at the club.

The Hammers captain will end his time as a player at the London Stadium at the end of this season but says the foundations are in place for the club to kick on after a sixth placed finish last season.

“The foundations are in place but the players have to go out on the pitch and do it,” said Noble.

“We’ve got a great bunch of players here. Hopefully we get a few new bodies in.”

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