Why Gareth Southgate Must Make West Ham Sensation Declan Rice An England Starter After Stunning Arsenal Display
Declan Rice produced a sensational performance in West Ham United's impressive 1-0 victory over Arsenal on Saturday afternoon and to top off a man-of-the-match performance the 19-year-old grabbed his first ever senior goal for the Hammers.
Sitting alongside Mark Noble in West Ham's defensive midfield area, Rice nullified the Arsenal attack, which lacked the guile that was needed to break down a stoic Hammers defence, and Unai Emery will certainly regret not adding Mesut Ozil to his matchday squad.
But, turning our attentions back to Rice - the defensive-minded star topped off arguably his best display in a West Ham shirt with a delightful finish from inside the area to give the Hammers a second half lead, and Rice is quickly turning into the Hammers biggest asset.
As Rice deservedly laps up the praise for today's performance it's England boss Gareth Southgate that should be getting immediately on the phone and trying to persuade Rice to nail his national colours to the England mast.
Rice has already played in three friendly internationals for the Republic of Ireland, but having been left out of a few squads by the previous Ireland boss Martin O'Neill then the talented youngster announced that he was still unsure as to where he sees himself playing on the international stage.
New Irish national coach Mick McCarthy will be quick to try and lure Rice to continue playing for Ireland, but Southgate must dangle the carrot of playing for England for the next decade or so, and Southgate must assure Rice that he is not only being lined up as a potential squad player, but he could be the future of England's midfield, and he can be another West Ham product to sparkle in the Three Lions shirts.
With the semi-finals of the UEFA Nations League taking place at the end of the season, Rice could be a key addition to England's squad for that tournament, while surely the youngster will relish the chance to feature in the biggest international tournaments for the rest of his career, so Southgate must act now and snap the superstar up!