Skip to main content

West Ham star Rice knows England switch is a risk, says Redknapp

Declan Rice

The 20-year-old released a statement on Wednesday announcing that he was committing his future to the Three Lions after representing the Republic of Ireland at youth level and in three senior friendly matches.

Rice has impressed for the Hammers this season, scoring one goal in 23 appearances, but former England midfielder Redknapp says the youngster will be aware that he faces a tough challenge breaking into Gareth Southgate’s side.

“The considered statement he released shows just how long and hard he has thought about declaring for England,” Redknapp wrote in the Daily Mail.

“He will know he is taking a risk. Had Declan chosen to stick with the Republic of Ireland, they would have built their team around a player of his quality.

“He may have to wait longer to become a mainstay in England’s midfield but, in Gareth Southgate, he has a manager who has consistently given chances to young players.”

Rice’s first chance to pull on an England shirt could arrive next month when Southgate’s side face the Czech Republic and Montenegro to begin their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

“When I watch him at West Ham I see a natural leader,” he said. “He is always talking and organising his team-mates.

“I would be amazed if he is not in next month’s squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro.

“His decision is great news for Southgate and England.”