Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill hopes to recall Declan Rice into his next squad, according to The Irish Independent.

West Ham academy product Rice was recently left out of the Irish squad to take on Wales and Poland because he was considering his options.

O’Neill has told The Irish Independent that he wants to recall Rice.

When asked whether he would like Harry Arter and Rice back in the squad, O’Neill said: “That would be nice and in an ideal world that would be terrific. I hope that will be the case.”

Rice’s international career

With his grandparents coming from Cork, the 19-year-old is eligible to represent the Republic of Ireland.

Rice has represented the Boys in Green at youth level from under-16 to under-21 level.

In 2017, he won the Republic of Ireland under-17 Player of the Year award and backed that up with the under-19 Player of the Year accolade the following season.

Rice made his senior debut in a friendly match against Turkey last March and he has three caps in total.

Dublin , Ireland – 2 June 2018; Declan Rice of Republic of Ireland during the International Friendly match between Republic of Ireland and the United States at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

International dilemma

Born in England to parents of Irish descent, Rice was unsure whether to commit to Republic of Ireland or England.

Despite playing for Ireland at senior level, he has not played a competitive game yet, meaning he could still change to England.

 

Gareth Southgate has expressed an interest in Rice as one for the future, which has clearly sparked his interest.

The Londoner, who has 34 senior games for West Ham under his belt, would be committed to the Irish for the rest of his career if he played in the UEFA Nations League.

The dilemma is a tough one for the teenager. Does he stick with Ireland or switch to England for a better chance of silverware? He would, however, have less chance of making the Three Lions’ squad.

Can this benefit West Ham?

ROMFORD, ENGLAND – AUGUST 30: Mark Noble and Declan Rice of West Ham United during Training at Rush Green on August 30, 2018 in Romford, England. (Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images)

 

When Rice makes his mind up, it will benefit West Ham in the long run.

At the moment, the versatile midfielder, who can also play at centre-back, seems distracted by this decision.

Whichever way he leans, the weight of the decision off his shoulders will allow Rice to enjoy his football again.

O’Neill is hopeful that Rice will sign a career-long deal with the Republic of Ireland to bolster their midfield.

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