What West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice had to say about Portsmouth's Ronan Curtis following Republic of Ireland international's double against Gillingham

Ronan Curtis would have been happy with his lot after his efforts against Gillingham on Saturday.

By Mark McMahon
Sunday, 24th April 2022, 4:30 pm

Two goals in a 3-1 win for Pompey and a return to his favoured left-wing position, it represented the kind of afternoon he’d have been crying out for after a frustrating season to date at Fratton Park.

A congratulatory call from Republic of Ireland international manager Stephen Kenny would probably have been the perfect way to end the day, after Curtis’ omission from recent Eire squads.

But the Blues forward, arguably, did better than that – after receiving a ringing endorsement from, again, arguably, one of the best midfielders in the world at the moment.

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West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice is an old pal of Curtis, having been involved in the same Republic of Ireland under-21 squads in the past.

And he didn’t forget to congratulate is friend following his two-goal showing against the Gills.

In fact, he did more than simply toast his former Ireland team-mate’s double – he described him as ‘what a player’ in a post uploaded on Instagram.

Rice was responding to Curtis’ own social media post that read: ‘3 points and a little brace ‘RC11 #PUP’.

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice Picture: Julian Finney/Getty Images

And there’s no doubt his reply will have gone down well in the Curtis household, with the £100m-rated Hammer currently one of the most sought-after players in the game.

Reports claim the 23-year-old has turned down West Ham’s latest contract offer as he looks set to move away from the London Stadium.

Curtis has also been linked with a transfer switch over the past 12 months, with the likes of Blackburn and Cardiff linked.

If the Blues do eventually sell him before his 2023 contract expires, then maybe a glowing reference from Rice will help push his value up!

Ronan Curtis celebrates scoring his first goal in Pompey's 3-1 win against Gillingham