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declan rice england

O’Shea praises ‘top class’ West Ham star Declan Rice

John O’Shea has praised Declan Rice’s attitude and temperament as ‘top class’ following the controversial news that he has switched international allegiances to play for England.

The news that Rice had finally made a decision on his international future was received very differently on either side of the Irish sea, with the 20-year-old having already received three caps for the Republic of Ireland.

However, having been born and raised in London, the West Ham midfielder had pondered his future for a good number of months, before finally deciding to commit his future to England.

Having played with Rice in his final international appearance, former Manchester United utility man John O’Shea hailed Rice’s attributes, saying that he could improve Gareth Southgate’s side…although he did send him a warning too.

“I saw him involved with the Ireland squad and he looked the real deal – then England came calling and his mind was changed,” O’Shea told BBC Radio 5 Live

“He’s a very good player – his temperament, attitude is top-class.

“At the minute, he looks like he could get into England squad and improve it, but that could change very quickly.

“You don’t know what is around the corner, injuries, form, other English players coming through and the competition he could face.”

Despite traditionally being a centre-back, Rice has been utilised as a defensive midfielder by Manuel Pellegrini this season, where he has started 23 of the Hammers 26 league games, scoring once.

Read also – The painful lessons Ireland must learn from Declan Rice fiasco

Or – Twitter reacts to Declan Rice international decision