West Ham United may well be sitting on a gold mine now that Declan Rice has confirmed his intention to represent England at international level.
Rice announced on Wednesday that he had telephoned both Mick McCarthy and Gareth Southgate to inform them of his decision.
The 20-year-old had been mulling over who to declare for since last year, with the Republic of Ireland the birthplace of his grandparents.
London-born Rice has actually represented the Boys in Green on three occasions, but can change his allegiance because he has never played in a competitive game.
Rice’s decision could now have a significant impact at club level, with West Ham now able to officially boast a precocious young English talent.
The English premium
The fact that Rice has declared for England could see his transfer value soar.
In recent years, the transfer market has seen players from England move clubs for grossly inflated fees.
Andy Carroll, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Kyle Walker, Raheem Sterling, John Stones, Jordan Pickford have all moved for huge sums in recent years.
Eyebrows were raised at the eye-watering fees paid to sign them up, with many putting it down to the ‘English premium’ concept.
There’s a chance now that later in his career Rice could potentially fetch a massive transfer fee, given his vast potential and English representation.
Of course, West Ham will probably do everything in their power to keep hold of Rice, but for the good of his career a move to a bigger club may not be out of the question, as the more realistic of supporters will understand.
At least the Hammers would be able to demand some serious cash for the holding midfielder – likely a fee that would eclipse Walker’s £53 million record (The Telegraph).