Former Arsenal player turned popular football pundit Paul Merson has delivered his verdict on Declan Rice’s situation. The 19-year-old has played three times for the Republic of Ireland but he is torn between playing for Ireland and England.
He is taking time to decide on his international future, and Merson has criticised it heavily. The football pundit believes Rice is good enough to represent England, but questions what is bothering him from taking the decision.
Merson suggests that the West Ham midfielder, who can also play in central defence, has been badly advised. He has hailed him as a ‘real talent’ but says he needs to solve this problem, otherwise it might affect him.
“Declan Rice is good enough to play for England and would be in the squad by now if he’d chosen to play for us. But what exactly is he waiting for?,” wrote Merson in his column for the Daily Star.
“If you have to spend this long thinking about which country you wish to play for, maybe you’re just not that keen.
“He’s going to have his commitment questioned whatever he does, and I think he’s been very badly advised. He’s done well for West Ham this season playing in midfield and he looks a real talent. But it might start to affect him if he doesn’t decide soon.”
Rice is a fantastic young player and has been in good form this season. He produced some eye-catching performances this season, showing class in the midfield against Chelsea, Manchester United and Everton.
Another big headache for West Ham is to agree to a deal with Rice. He is currently earning just £2,500 per week on his current deal, and West Ham have offered him basic wage package of £21,000 a week.
According to Football London, Rice would also get a £20,000 bonus for every Premier League game he starts, £10,000 if he comes off the bench and £5,000 should he be an unused substitute in a Premier League game.