Monday’s Republic of Ireland squad announcement brought back some unwanted memories of the infamous Jack Grealish saga as the absence of Declan Rice dominated headlines throughout the day.
Rice, who previously outlined his desire to play for the Republic and has already made three appearances for Martin O’Neill’s side, albeit in friendlies, will take some time to make a decision on his international future as Ireland’s manager revealed that Gareth Southgate has been in contact with the 19-year-old about representing England.
The news has come as a hammer-blow to Irish fans as Rice was one of the players expected to be the backbone of future Irish sides.
To further rub salt into Irish wounds, West Ham owner David Gold has said that he sees Rice as a future captain of England, such is his admiration for the Hammers player.
“My hope all along has been that Declan first becomes an England player and then follows in the footsteps of the great Bobby Moore by becoming the captain of England,” Gold tweeted.
“Born in England made in West Ham United.”
My hope all a long has been that Declan first becomes an England player and then follows in the footsteps of the great Bobby Moore by becoming the captain of England.
Born in England made in West Ham United. dg https://t.co/Yx8auOlcSF
— David Gold (@davidgold) August 27, 2018