I think your fondness may be ruling your head a little there, even as a winger now. He started as a striker and has scored less than 60 goals in 300 games, most of which are in league one or the championship. I mean, as you say the prem inst the be all, but that's quite a lot less than was expected of him.
Re Rice, my West Ham mates all rave about him, but i don't see quite the same media buzz for hi as other young English talent. That could be a good thing though tbf.
He did well for us. 28 goals in 91 appearances. A goal every three games (ish) is a pretty good return. He's a good goal scorer at League 1 level. Not convinced he's got enough quality for any higher than that. I think 29 goals in 157 games at Ipswich shows he's not quite good enough to be a club's main goal scorer at Championship level.
Don't know if you saw his goal today but I wouldn't be surprised if they take it off him. To me it looked like he hit wide, and in Kasper's attempt at saving it it's kind of come off the inside off his thumb and gone in. Shane Long is a poor excuse for a striker. His work rate and battling are top notch, so you almost feel like he should have been playing midfield or wing back all this time really.