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Dublin: 18 °C Sunday 12 July, 2020

'You're talking about an English player' - time to move on from Declan Rice saga, says Seamus Coleman

The Donegal native helped Everton to a Merseyside derby draw yesterday.

Switch: West Ham's Declan Rice.
Switch: West Ham's Declan Rice.

SEAMUS COLEMAN SAYS Ireland need to move on from the Declan Rice saga.

The highly rated West Ham star last month declared for Gareth Southgate’s England after lining out for the senior Ireland side on three occasions, in a blow to new manager Mick McCarthy’s plans.

But the Everton full back, speaking to Off The Ball in the wake of yesterday’s Merseyside derby, said it’s time for Irish football to draw a line under the episode.

“I’m massively disappointed,” Coleman told Nathan Murphy. “He’s a top player, and we’re seeing that week-in, week-out. But Declan Rice’s career is now with England and good luck to him. That subject needs to stop.

“He’s not an Irish player any more. I know [the media] have to talk about it, but you’re talking about an English player so there’s no point in talking about it.”

Source: Off The Ball/YouTube

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini, meanwhile, insists Rice is primed to play for England and is already their best option as holding midfielder.

“He’s a complete player,” Pellegrini told reporters. “That is a player who, for me, is the best English holding midfielder. The other important thing is he is trying to learn every day.

“He’s a young player who has just started his career. He must try to continue listening, keep doing the things he does every day, play and get the experience he needs.”

Rice has played 26 of West Ham’s 29 Premier League matches this season.

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