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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 30 March, 2020

Danny Murphy tells Declan Rice that England is his 'only option'

The former Liverpool midfielder believes Rice should chase success.

Declan Rice celebrates his first senior goal for West Ham.
Declan Rice celebrates his first senior goal for West Ham.
Image: Steven Paston

DANNY MURPHY HAS chucked his opinion into the tangled scrap for Declan Rice’s international allegiance, telling Rice that “purely from a football perspective, there’s only one option”. 

Murphy, who won nine senior caps for England, told talkSPORT that Rice should declare for England as it is with the country of his birth he will have more success. 

“You’re going to play in more World Cups and European Championships for England than you are for Republic of Ireland – history tells us that”, explained Murphy. 

Also, holding midfield is the one area in the England squad that’s up for grabs, for me. You look at Dier, Henderson, who else is there? Declan Rice is probably looking around thinking he’s not scared of any of the other players in terms of competition.

Rice’s grandparents are Irish, and the 20-year-old played three senior friendly internationals with Ireland in 2018. That these weren’t competitive games means he is eligible to play for England, and Rice declined to commit to Ireland for the Uefa Nations League campaign having been approached by Gareth Southgate. 

Rice has since met with new Ireland manager Mick McCarthy, and his final decision is expected soon. McCarthy has assured Rice that he will build his team around him, but Murphy believes Rice can force his way into the England team. 

“Could he make that position his own? He’s got a good chance if he decides to choose England. I don’t know how strong the Irish connection is in his family, so that’s another thing to take into consideration.

But purely from a football perspective, there’s only one option.

There is only one option if you want to play in the biggest tournaments in the world and that’s England”. 

Some of Murphy’s past comments regarding Rice have provoked controversy. Murphy told talkSPORT in September that it was “ridiculous” that Rice and West Ham had yet to agree terms on a new contract, to which the club complained to the broadcaster that Murphy had failed to disclose the fact that he had been represented by Rice’s current agent, Neil Fewings. 

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Gavin Cooney

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