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After months of intense speculation and deliberation, West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has has finally ended all discussion about his international future by pledging he will play for the England national team.
The 20-year-old has emerged as West Ham’s top young talent this season. He has been a key player for Manuel Pellegrini’s side, and has impressed heavily putting in some incredible mature performances.
While he committed his future to West Ham in December by signing a long-term contract, tensions were brewing about his international future.
The highly-rated young midfielder has already played for the Republic of Ireland at Under-16, 17, 19 and 21 levels and has earned three senior caps. However, none of them have come in a competitive game.
It has left Rice open to shifting his allegiance, and having been born in England, he has now decided to represent the Three Lions moving forward.
West Ham co-owner David Gold has mocked former Ireland assistant manger Roy Keane after Rice confirmed his decision yesterday.
Not as difficult as you thought Roy ? https://t.co/GHsyOEIcz6
— David Gold (@davidgold) February 13, 2019
Gold said last May during a radio that he was ‘looking forward to the new manager turning Declan Rice into a strong English defender for the future of the England team’.
Keane responded to his comments by saying: “It’s going to be pretty difficult as he’s Irish. Where else would he want to go? It’s pretty straightforward. He is Irish.”
Gold tweeted a video clip of Keane’s comment with the message: “Not as difficult as you thought Roy”
Some West Ham fans took to Twitter to react to Gold’s tweet. Here are some of the selected tweets:
Dg rides again ?
— Jack (@Jack_hobson12) February 13, 2019
DG 1-0 Keane
— Joel⚒ (@JoelWhu) February 13, 2019
No need for that I’m a West Ham fan but gutted that Declan has chosen England. He has gone down in my estimation.
— Russell Leahy #FBPE (@RussLeahy) February 13, 2019
DG too smooth ????
— Jackson Bevan (@jacksonbevs) February 13, 2019
As an Irish West Ham supporter this is very classless David. I suppose I could not expect any more from you.
— Adrian Boland (@ADOBOLO) February 14, 2019