West Ham ace Declan Rice responded to Gary Neville’e criticism of him switching allegiances to England from the Republic of Ireland earlier this year, as quoted by the Daily Star.

The 20-year-old has been in superb form over the past 12 months. And has firmly established himself as one of the Premier League’s best holding midfielders.

And the youngster’s fine displays coincided with his call-up to the England national team.

England v Bulgaria - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

Declan Rice (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Rice had already earned three caps for Ireland, but because they were not competitive games, he was allowed to switch to the Three Lions.

The West Ham ace now has four international caps for England to his name.

Gary Neville, however, believes that the Hammers star should never have been able to switch allegiances, as quoted by the Independent:

 

“I just think that ultimately a player should not be allowed to play for his country’s senior team and then switch. It doesn’t feel right to me. It’s a really strange thing to see and ultimately Fifa and Uefa need to stop it.”

England v Bulgaria - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

Declan Rice (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Rice responded to the Sky Sports pundit today, however. He suggested that he is only focused on playing well for England, as quoted by the Daily Star:

“Obviously, what Gary Neville said as well. He can have that opinion if he wants. And I can’t change that. But now I am playing for England, you know I’m going to do everything I can to play the best I can for this country.”

England v Bulgaria - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

Declan Rice (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Whilst Neville has a point, it is hard to argue with Rice’s decision. He obviously has far more chance of winning a trophy with England than he would have had with Ireland.

And now it’s up to the West Ham star to produce his best form for the Three Lions over the course of the next decade or so.

He is a truly top class performer. And hopefully the Hammers ace will be vindicated in his decision.

Have something to tell us about this article?