Popular football pundit Jamie Redknapp believes that West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has taken a risk after the young midfielder has decided to play for the England national team.
The 20-year-old midfielder has been in outstanding form this season, and has emerged as one of the finest young talents in the Premier League under Manuel Pellegrini.
While he committed his long-term future at the Hammers in December, he was taking time to make a decision on his international future.
After a lot of deliberation, he has now chosen to play for the Three Lions moving forward.
Rice has already played for the Republic of Ireland at Under-16, 17, 19 and 21 levels and has earned three senior caps. But, none of them have come in a competitive game.
As a result, it paved the way for Rice to shift his allegiance, and having been born in England, he has now decided to represent the Three Lions.
Redknapp has hailed him as a ‘natural leader’, and says it has been the hardest decision the player has had to make in his life so far.
The football pundit also adds that Rice will develop under England manager Gareth Southgate, and says he would be amazed if the youngster is not picked for next month’s squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro.
“This will have been the hardest decision Declan Rice has ever had to make,” wrote Redknapp for the Daily Mail.
“He is a grounded, down-to-earth young man. The considered statement he released shows just how long and hard he has thought about declaring for England. He will know he is taking a risk.
“Declan has shown incredible maturity in learning his position in defensive midfield.
“He picks pockets, makes timely blocks and reads the game well. When I watch him at West Ham I see a natural leader. He is always talking and organising his team-mates.
“I would be amazed if he is not in next month’s squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Montenegro. His decision is great news for Southgate and England.”