West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini feels Declan Rice is ready to don the England jersey. The 19 year old defender who can also ply his trade as a midfielder is spoiled for choices between two nations.
Rice has a very tough choice to make as he is eligible to play for both England and Republic of Ireland. The 19 year old has appeared for the Irish national team but all of his appearances have been in friendlies so if he feels he can still switch his allegiance to the Three Lions.
The youngster came through the ranks of Irish national team but failed to make it to Martin O’Neill’s latest squad. Rice has Irish roots from his father’s side but he was born in London. Pellegrini revealed the player is mature enough to take his own decision.
“He has a big problem but I think that his heart must decide if he feels more Irish or more English.
“He is 19 years old and his future will allow him to play for England or Ireland.
“Maybe for him it can be more easy to play for Ireland but if you trust in yourself and you feel that you are an English player… It is a personal decision, it is very difficult to give advice but I am always speaking with him because he is young and he has a lot of future.”
“With England he will have big competition but I think he is able to take that challenge, without giving him a decision. He must take the decision himself.”