As the fallout from Declan Rice’s omission from the latest Republic of Ireland squad due to the 19-year-old considering England as where his international future lies, Damien Duff has weighed in with his opinion of the West Ham midfielder’s future – and it’s not good news for Irish fans.
The journey which Rice has taken in an Irish shirt to date is a compelling one in relation to who he wants to play for but Monday’s announcement has almost disregarded that in its entirety.
Damien Duff believes that the writing is on the wall and it is highly unlikely that the 19-year-old will make a “U-turn” and return to the Republic of Ireland squad.
“Reading between the lines, I don’t think he’ll be doing a U-turn to come back to us now, the fact he has missed out on the squad and doesn’t want to play in the Welsh game,” Duff told RTÉ Sport. “It doesn’t bode well for us.
“I can’t see him coming back.”
Duff, however, does empathise with a huge decision which Rice now has to make and also alludes to the fact that having a new agent may contribute to Rice questioning whether playing for Ireland is the best thing for him.
“If it has meant as much to him [to play for Ireland] as he says it has – I think he was kissing the badge after one game – if he hasn’t lied and that’s the truth, then it will be a difficult decision for him.
“I think he has a new agent, he will be in his ear. England international versus being an Ireland international, that’s the bit agents look at. He will be in his ear to play for England rather than little old Ireland.”