West Ham captain Mark Noble believes that youngster Declan Rice should be selfish about his international future.
Rice has represented the Republic of Ireland three times in international friendlies but is still eligible to switch allegiance to England as he has yet to play a competitive international fixture.
The 19-year-old rejected a call-up for the Republic or Ireland’s UEFA Nations League clash against Wales.
Had he played in the game, he would have lost the opportunity to play for England.
The decision taken by the youngster obviously indicates that he is at least considering playing for the land of his birth.
While Rice has represented the Republic of Ireland at youth international level up to senior level, he was born in London and spent his youth club career with Chelsea and the Hammers.
Playing for England could therefore be appealing to him.
However, if he wants to play for England, he will have to work towards becoming a first-team regular for West Ham and deliver stand-out performances for the club on a regular basis.
That may potentially take a couple of years especially with the talent that Gareth Southgate has available to him at the moment.
If Rice chooses the Republic of Ireland, he will be able to play international football in the near-future.
Noble has advised Rice to be selfish about his decision.
He said as report by The Standard: “Declan is a young lad. Hopefully, he has 15 years playing ahead of him. He has to make his own mind up, knowing that the decision he makes could impact his career massively. He will also understand that, if he has a dip in form for whatever reason, the Irish FA won’t have any hesitation in leaving him out.”
“You have to look after yourself and be selfish in a way.”
“I had a similar dilemma a couple of seasons back, although the circumstances were a bit different. I had represented England from schoolboy level right up to Under-21s and my dream had always been to play for my country. My family are from Ireland, though, and their FA contacted me to see if I was interested.”
“My thinking, though, was that I had never dreamt of playing for the Republic of Ireland — and I don’t mean that at all disrespectfully. I had played for England through all the age groups. I felt that, if I went to play for Ireland and there was a kid out there whose dream was to play for that country and I had taken his spot, then I didn’t think that would have been right. That’s just the way I am.”