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The 19-year-old plies his trade for West Ham United and is eligible to represent both nations. He has made several appearances for the Republic of Ireland youth side and 3 for the senior squad.
However, Rice has been edging towards the Three Lions after being left out of the Ireland squad three times by previous manager, Martin O’Neil.
Mick McCarthy who is the present manager of the European neighbour has spoken with England head coach, Gareth Southgate regarding Declan Rice. And the 59-year-old has drawn the conclusion that Rice should opt for the Republic of Ireland as Southgate simply views the Hammers player as a centre back.
McCarthy was quoted, “I spoke to Gareth and he saw him as a centre-back. I thought because he’s not playing there at the moment, he wouldn’t be in there (England squad) in front of the ones already in there, plus he’s not been in their youth system and come through like he was with ours and Gareth Southgate was running theirs for a long time.”
Rice who initially broke into the West Ham squad as a centre-half has been made to appear in the holding midfield role in recent times by Manuel Pellegrini. Not only has the youngster flourished in the position but he also managed to score his first ever Premier League goal on Saturday and help his team to a 1-0 win over Arsenal.
Standing at 6 feet 1 inch tall and paired with his technical abilities on the ball, Rice could be handed a prominent role by McCarthy but there is a lot of competition in the England squad. Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier, who serves the same purpose as Rice is a regular figure under Southgate and is more experienced than Rice.