Could Declan Rice Be in Line For the England National Squad?
Declan Rice, having recently opted to play for England despite having three Republic of Ireland caps to his name, has left many England fans wondering whether there is a place for him in the side. As well, whether the move was best for his international career. On the back of recent personal success in a West Ham shirt, is it time for the 20-year-old to bring that success to the international stage?
Can Declan Rice Become Part of Gareth Southgate’s Egland Plans?
As seen at the World Cup, Gareth Southgate lined up with a peculiar formation in 5-2-1-2. It is a formation that he has shaped and moulded specifically for the England squad that he took to Russia in 2018. The defensive-minded midfield spot is the least competitive position in the team with the current crop of players. Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson are the main contenders for the position at the moment, but both suffer from indifferent performances with their respective club sides, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool.
Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli could also be outside shouts having performed in a deeper role than they’re used to at the World Cup, but Rice, who has all but cemented a starting place in Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham side, can easily usurp them to make the role his own.
However, he does face some added competition. Lewis Cook, another young English midfielder on the rise, is also looking for a spot in the England setup in the future. Fortunately for Rice, the Bournemouth youngster is currently sidelined with injury having ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in December. This presents a good opportunity for Rice to come into the squad at the next international break.
There is not too much that could go against Declan Rice, being one of the hottest young prospects and Southgate doing the best he could for him to switch allegiances. It is also not out of the ordinary to see Southgate feature a youngster in the squad when they’re on form.
Tammy Abraham, Joe Gomez and Jadon Sancho have all played under Southgate since his arrival when beforehand wouldn’t have stood a chance. All the positive fingers are pointing towards Rice. Can he continue his form and become a regular on the international scene?