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30th Aug 2018

Gareth Southgate offers classy response when asked about Declan Rice

Patrick McCarry

No Declan Rice in England’s latest squad but time may yet tell.

Gareth Southgate has named his first England squad since the World Cup and there is a return to the fold for Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana.

In years, and games, to come, those players may be joined by West Ham teenager Declan Rice. The 19-year-old has won three caps for Ireland but was left out of Martin O’Neill’s latest squad as he is “deliberating” his international future. Born in London, Rice can still switch to England as he has not played a competitive fixture for Ireland.

Southgate was queried on the versatile Hammers youngster at this afternoon’s squad announcement. His response was perfectly measured and hopefully keeps the spotlight away from Rice as he makes what must be a tough decision. He commented:

“There are so many dual nationality players – Rice is a good young player. He has a really difficult decision because there is a lot of pressure on him.

“As far as I am concerned he is with Ireland at the moment but as much as we think he is a good player, that decision has to lie with him.”

Low-key and classy as ever from Southgate. Typical of the man.


With the first ever Uefa Nations League on the horizon Southgate named a 23-man squad for it, with Manchester United left-back Shaw the most notable inclusion after his impressive start to the season. Also called up are Lallana, Joe Gomez, Alex McCarthy and James Tarkowski.

“We’re obviously coming off the back of a successful summer, so I think there’s a good foundation for us to build on,” said Gareth Southgate after the announcement.

“With us only being three games into the season, I felt some continuity was important so those who were with us in the summer deserve the right to go again. Others haven’t really had the opportunity to force themselves ahead of those guys.

“From here we have a two-year lead into the European Championships,” he added, “so I want us to try and capture what we had this summer and why they felt it went well – but, once we’re through this camp, there’s going to be competition from others. People are going to have to play at a good level to retain their places.”

Here is the squad in full:

Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Jack Butland (Stoke City), Dele (Tottenham Hotspur), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Alex McCarthy (Southampton), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), John Stones (Manchester City), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal).

England face Spain at Wembley on September 8, and host Switzerland at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium three days later.