Declan Rice has stirred a hornets nest in Ireland after national manager Martin O’Neill announced that the youngster was left out of the most recent ROI squad as he was still contemplating his international future.
Rice has been a regular for Ireland at youth levels and has even featured in friendlies for the senior team, but a meeting with England boss Gareth Southgate has made delay on committing to the Irish team. This has not gone done well in Ireland, with the likes of James McClean and Kevin Kilbane unhappy at Rice, who had mentioned only months ago that he was “committed to Ireland”. Kilbane even said he would prefer to stay ranked at 150th than field a player who took a U-turn like Rice.
Rice was born in England and David Gold, the co-owner of the club Rice represents, has said that he saw a future Bobby Moore in Rice. The 19 year old is still in a nascent stage in his club career- here is one example where his inexperience was exploited ruthlessly by Liverpool.
Regardless of the progress Rice makes, he’s sure to achieve milestones in terms of caps faster with the Republic than with England. This could see Rice go the way of Grealish, another one with plenty of junior caps, who also declared for England, but has seen his international career stagnate.