Southgate speaks out on Declan

To describe today as huge in the life of Declan Rice does the word understatement a disservice!

He has become such a key figure in the Irons team that it would be easy to forget a journey which has seen him go from West Ham under 23s captain to the full international squad.

Frankly, it is totally extraordinary and already – in discussing his call up – the 19 year old is finding even his leadership qualities being voiced by the Three Lions boss.

Gareth Southgate chats to Sir Trevor Brooking at London Stadium
Gareth Southgate chats to Sir Trevor Brooking at London Stadium

The early whispers from some of us that he may become the next Bobby Moore are no longer slapped down by the cynics and those who want to protect him from pressure.

For Declan has demonstrated both on the field and off it – when making his decisions to sign a new Hammers deal and deciding his international allegiance  – that he can take pressure without it unsettling him.

And the England boss has clearly been more than impressed with what he has seen of a youngster who continues to follow the footsteps of our greatest Hammers legend.

He is quoted on www.whufc.com as saying: “His form warrants it. It’s obviously been a well-publicised situation with Declan and we have tracked him for quite a while.

“I think they’re really big decisions as when you’re asking a player to transfer associations, they’ve got to feel they have a future with you. That said, there was never any guarantees made to him as I think that was also important, as you’ve got to be playing well to get in the squad.

“But his form his has been excellent and we like what we’ve seen in terms of his personality, his character and leadership qualities.

“He can play as a holding midfield player and I’ve seen him play very well as a centre-back so I think he will fit in very well with the way that we work and I’m looking forward to welcoming him with us next week.”

Should Rice feature against either Czech Republic at Wembley on Friday 22 March or Montenegro in Podgorica on Monday 25 March, he will become the 42nd senior England international in the Club’s history.

About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

2 comments on “Southgate speaks out on Declan

  1. Would you ever listen to yourself. He has played senior football with another country and you think it’s fine. This site ******* annoys me sometimes. And I’m a west ham fan.

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