Gary Lineker jokes that Declan Rice would look good in an England jersey
The Match of the Day host did not let this one slide.
Declan Rice has played three international games for Ireland but could yet end up switching allegiances to England. Gary Lineker will gladly accept him into the fold.
London-born Rice was left out of Ireland's squad for upcoming Nations League fixtures with Martin O'Neill conceding that the West Ham star needs some time to assess his options.
At his squad announcement on Monday afternoon, the Ireland boss said:
"He is a young man. Obviously, England, the place of his birth, have talked to him. We respect that. I think he just wants a little bit more time.
"It's probably to do with the fact that he started the season with a new manager at club level, and he's trying to cement a place there. I'm still hopeful. He is taking time to make his mind up. He has done brilliantly for us. I'm giving him a little bit of time."
The hesitation from Rice did not go down well with former Ireland star Kevin Kilbane. Rice has been with Ireland's underage set-up since the U15 level and has, in the past, committed himself to the Irish cause.
With England reaching out to see if he would be interested in playing for them, Kilbane was not shy in offering his take on matters.
I’d rather be ranked 150th in the world and never qualify again than have someone who has played, but needs time to THINK whether they should play for us again. Well done to MON for transparency. https://t.co/6oXlwXEpaP
— Kevin Kilbane (@kdkilbane77) August 27, 2018
The comments from Kilbane drew a large and varied response, with Gary Lineker being one of the most high-profile football figures to weigh in.
The former Tottenham, Barcelona and England striker teased Kilbane and, by extension, Irish fans by declaring Rice would look good in the white jersey of England.
Think he’d look good in a white shirt 😉
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 27, 2018
It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.