Declan Rice Named in England Squad for Euro 2020 Qualifiers

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2019

CARDIFF, WALES - MARCH 09: Declan Rice of West Ham United in action during the Premier League match between Cardiff City and West Ham United at Cardiff City Stadium on March 09, 2019 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)
Athena Pictures/Getty Images

West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice has been named in England's squad for their upcoming UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro. 

Rice was called up by manager Gareth Southgate in an otherwise relatively familiar squad on Wednesday:

England @England

📋 Here it is – the #ThreeLions' squad for our opening two #Euro2020 qualifiers: https://t.co/3seiPqsZrO

The 20-year-old—who has three friendly caps for the Republic of Ireland—declared for the Three Lions in February:

Declan Rice @_DeclanRice


Southgate explained Rice's selection, per Simon Peach of the Press Association:

Simon Peach @SimonPeach

Southgate on Rice's call-up: "His form warrants it. It has obviously been a well-publicised situation. We've tracked him for quite a while. There were never any guarantees made to him but his form has been excellent" 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

The call-up comes a day after he was named Young Player of the Year by Ireland's Football Writers' Association.

He was also named Young Player of the Year at the London Football Awards in February.

Rice has been a key player for the Hammers this season, and Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe is a big admirer of the youngster:

Sam Tighe @stighefootball

Declan Rice has gone from that name on West Ham’s bench alongside Quina I used to giggle at (h/t @tomvictor) to the Anglo-Irish Javi Martinez. Iconic transition.

The midfielder reads the game well for a player so young, and it has become a familiar sight to see him breaking up play in front of the Irons' back line this season with tackles and interceptions alike.

He'll be competing with more established players such as Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson for game time in the two matches, but if he's given a run out he can begin to stake a claim for a place in the side in the future.

Meanwhile, recent injuries to Manchester United's Jesse Lingard and Harry Winks of Tottenham Hotspur mean they're absent from the squad. 

Leicester City's Harry Maguire and Burnley centre-back James Tarkowski, who were missing from England's last squad in November, return along with Callum Wilson. The Bournemouth striker has kept his place after scoring on his debut in a friendly with the USA.