West Ham’s Declan Rice wins first England call-up

Rice handed first England call-up after switch from Ireland

Rice handed first England call-up after switch from Ireland

Southgate has called up West Ham United's Declan Rice, who decided his global future lies with England, for the first time.

Southgate said that he had warned Rice from when he first started talking to him, before the World Cup, that he would face public hostility if he chose to switch allegiance. The likes of Michael Keane and James Tarkowski continue to keep their noses in front of Chris Smalling at centre-back.

There is a recall for Tom Heaton, whose impressive form for Burnley sees him joining fellow goalkeepers Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland.

Southgate's comment was directed especially both to critics who have not "walked in those shoes" and former players that benefited from the rules. Young Liverpool defender Joe Gomez is also unavailable due to his ongoing recovery after breaking his ankle in December.

Meanwhile, Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks and Manchester United's Jesse Lingard miss out through injury.

The West Ham United midfielder earned his first call-up for Gareth Southgate's squad yesterday afternoon.

"We've tracked him for quite a while", Southgate said.

Jack Grealish declared for England in 2015
Jack Grealish declared for England in 2015

"I'm never keen to say that "this player is the number one, and that's it", and "this player in that position is our number one choice" because you've always got to have competition for places". His form warrants it.

"We like his character, his leadership qualities and he can play as a holding midfielder or a defender".

"We don't have many English goalkeepers playing, all of those that are playing have had moments and spells of good form, making good saves and days when they have not been so good", he told BBC Radio 5 Live and TalkSPORT.

The Football Association of Ireland announced Tuesday that Rice was the country's young player of the year, saying he would still receive the award because it "maintains the integrity of the voting process". He had that at the weekend [versus Newcastle]. "If we can provide hope and optimism through our performances then that's part of our responsibility as a team". However, things might have been very different for Kane, who qualifies for the Republic of Ireland through his father's side of the family with contact having been made before his breakthrough season at Tottenham.

On Heaton: "He's played well".

On Rashford: "He wants to be the best player in the world and will dedicate himself to that".

Giroud hat-trick helps Chelsea ease into Europa quarters
That's all for today! "I am really very happy for him and for the hat-trick, and I am really very happy with him". And accordingly the victor of the third quarter-final will play the victor of the second in the semi-finals.

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