West Ham co-owner David Gold has interesting plans for versatile youngster Declan Rice.
The 19-year-old defender/midfielder has made massive inroads in his career over the last twelve months, culminating in the club’s young player of the season award off the back of 26 Premier League appearances.
At international level, Rice made the step-up to the Ireland senior team in March, putting in a man-of-the-match performance against Turkey and retaining his place in the squad for the upcoming friendlies against France and the USA.
However, Gold doesn’t quite see Rice’s future with the Boys in Green. Speaking to TalkSport on Wednesday to discuss West Ham’s appointment of Manuel Pellegrini as the club’s new manager, the Hammers’ joint-owner expressed his wish that the former Man City manager could turn Rice into a future leader for the England national side.
“I’m looking forward to the new manager turning Declan Rice into a strong English defender for the future of the England team.”
Rice’s national allegiance became the subject of media speculation earlier this year when England manager Gareth Southgate suggested that they would be keeping tabs on the player’s development. Indeed, despite his one senior appearance, he would still technically be able to make the switch to England until such time as he plays for Ireland competitively.
That said, Rice reiterated his commitment to Ireland as recently as March, and there has been nothing to suggest that anything has changed since then, so it looks as though Gold and West Ham may have to look elsewhere for their next Bobby Moore.