Jamie Carragher has told Sky Sports (broadcast on 18/11; 22:04) that he is starting to think that Declan Rice is becoming one of the first names on the England team sheet following the West Ham United star’s latest international display.
Rice got 90 minutes under his belt as Gareth Southgate’s men beat Iceland 4-0 at Wembley. And it was a game that saw the 21-year-old bag his first international goal as he broke the deadlock.
As shown by Whoscored.com, Rice made exactly 100 touches. He also made 84 successful passes. Only Harry Maguire managed more during the emphatic victory.
Defensively, he won three aerial duels. Again, only Maguire won more. And no player made more interceptions than the three Rice managed throughout the game.
The Nations League clash saw the youngster make only his 13th appearance for his country. But with Euro 2020 emerging on the horizon, Carragher suggested that he has established himself as a key part of Southgate’s plans.
“We were talking about Phil Foden before and maybe Mason Mount nailing down a position, or Jack Grealish. It almost feels like Declan Rice has,” he told Sky Sports. “He plays every game now for England so we talk about who are the first names on the team sheet, it almost looks for the manager, he is one of them.
“There was such a big build up for Declan Rice when he came in and was doing so well for West Ham, so then people start looking a bit closer, he gets in the England team, he got a little criticism which I thought was a little bit harsh. I’m a big fan of Declan Rice. When he plays in that central midfield position, I don’t think he gets enough credit for his passing ability.”
Rice really does appear to be cementing himself as a mainstay for club and country. He has not missed a minute for West Ham so far this season in the Premier League.
He is also quickly wracking up the England caps ahead of next summer. And Carragher is confident that he could have a crucial role to play when the tournament finally rolls around.