Southgate: Rice critics haven't walked in his shoes

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The 20-year-old appeared for the Republic of Ireland's youth teams and won three senior caps, but Federation Internationale de Football Association last week ratified his switch to England as those three appearances came in friendlies.

"We are looking forward to working with him next week".

"Fundamentally, in this actual instance, he's a boy that was born in London and educated at an English academy".

Southampton pair Alex McCarthy and Angus Gunn will no doubt be taken into consideration for future squads if one of them can establish themselves as the undisputed first-choice at St Mary's, while Dean Henderson - on loan at Sheffield United from Manchester United - was also mentioned by Southgate.

Rice, who can play as a centre back or in midfield, has been one of West Ham's most consistent players this season, earning rave reviews and comparisons with former club great Bobby Moore. "There were others who have commented despite the fact that they didn't play for the country of their birth, so they have benefited from some of the rules that are there".

"It's a big decision for a 20-year-old".

"That said, there were never any guarantees made to him".

"So I just think this is going to be increasingly part of the landscape because families are more transient".

Image PA
Image PA

Such attributes led the Three Lions boss and former Football Association technical director Dan Ashworth to visit Rice before last summer's World Cup, when they made it clear they saw an global future for him. That was clear - you've got to be playing well to get in the squad.

"His character and leadership qualities mean he fits in very well into the way that we work". We have a few in our squad, but in the end, mentality often dictates how far players can go.

What happened to players needing to "be playing regularly and in good form" to make the squad, Gareth?

Reid, however, believes Ireland need to continue scouring the country for players who might be eligible to play for them.

After his heroics for England in the summer, this has been a very hard season for Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Rice is the only new face in the 25-man squad to which Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton his recalled alongside Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland.

"But, we're pleased with what Jordan's done and we've got to help him through what was hopefully a blip at the weekend".


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