Declan Rice officially pledges international future to England

A little under a month after his 20th birthday, West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has officially pledged his international future to England. In a post on social media, the youngster announced his decision to “transfer his international registration from Ireland to England”

The news would’ve come as a blow to Irish fans, who would’ve been hoping for Rice not to make the same decision as Jack Grealish. The official FAI Twitter account even wished him on his birthday last month with a message that said “Happy Birthday to Ireland international Declan Rice”

Rice IRE

If Ireland had capped him against Moldova (and they had the opportunity to), Rice would’ve been tied to the Boys in Green. Instead a meteoric rise this season and a word from Gareth Southgate has resulted him in changing allegiance to the Three Lions. From a West Ham perspective, this will certainly drive up Rice’s transfer fee if he decides to move in the future, to say Man City, with the latter looking for a long term replacement for the ageing Fernandinho. We’d obviously prefer him to stay at the London Stadium, but his talent has caught the eye of several rival clubs this season, and one of the biggies will definitely come calling sooner rather than later if he continues to progress at this level.

England’s depth in defensive midfield doesn’t appear to be very great at this moment and Rice has a good chance to outseat the likes of Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson. The 20 year old has been an ever-present in the centre of the park for the Hammers this season and has had more first team minutes than any other WHUFC midfielder under Manuel Pellegrini in 2018/19

This was Rice’s official statement on social media.

Declan Rice Statement England

Rice’s decision to declare for England provoked mixed reactions- here’s one from Kevin Kilbane.

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