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Gareth Southgate must be warned over realistic treatment of flagging West Ham star Declan Rice

When Declan Rice went down and received treatment in the final moments of West Ham United’s defeat to Brentford most fans were thinking the same thing.

‘Now he’s got to go and play two games for England’.

Rice has been pushed to his limit physically by West Ham and England over the last couple of years.

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A run to the final with England having only just returned from a knee injury before the end of last season denied West Ham’s key player of any rest.

And after just two weeks off Rice returned to West Ham’s pre-season training early – such is the professionalism of the man.

Now, having played 11 high intensity matches for club and country in six weeks, Rice faces another two with England having been selected by Southgate for the October internationals.

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West Ham are rightly proud to have players represent their countries.

But that pride will soon lose its novelty if and when West Ham’s star players are sent home flogged or even injured.

So David Moyes must warn Southgate over his treatment of Rice’s situation over the next two weeks.

It’s very simple. The 22-year-old midfielder needs a rest or faces burnout.

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Rice has played more games and minutes for club and country than any of England’s other midfielders this season.

Do England really need the likes of Rice to beat Andorra?

Of course they don’t. So Southgate should use his squad sensibly and only play him against Hungary a week on Tuesday.

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That would give Rice the kind of rest he needs to recharge and no doubt Moyes will be sending a warning to the Three Lions over their use of his key player.

Moyes has other worries with his Czech stars Tomas Soucek and Vladimir Coufal looking miles off the pace so far this season following a gruelling last 19 months for club and country.

And don’t even get us started on West Ham’s only striker, Michail Antonio, who is set to embark on a 10,500 mile round trip to America, Jamaica and Honduras to play three games in six days for a side with no hope of qualification for the World Cup.

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