West Ham player Declan Rice could return to Republic of Ireland duty in October.

The print edition of The Irish Daily Star reports that Rice could make a statement on his future after the international break.

Rice was omitted from Ireland’s squad for the upcoming games as he pondered his future. The versatile youngster qualifies to play for England and wanted to take his time to decide.

The 19-year-old, who plays in midfield or defence, has played three friendlies for Martin O’Neill’s side.

But he decided to sit out of the games against Wales and Poland to consider his options.

Rice may now have made up his mind, as he prepares a statement with this report expecting him to return to Ireland in October.

The Irish have two home games against Denmark and Wales in mid-October. These would count as competitive fixtures and Rice would commit his future to the boys in Green.

Who should Rice represent?

With England, Rice has more chance of competing for silverware and playing at major tournaments.

 

But if he chooses to represent England, he risks alienating himself from the Irish fans, who have backed him thus far.

Rice would also have less chance of breaking into the Three Lions’ first-team, although he certainly has the potential to reach the very top.

With the Republic of Ireland, he would have less chances on the biggest stage but he would be a star player.

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)

Having played for the Irish youth sides from under-16 through under-21, it is time for him to become a senior star and earn over 100 caps for the country.

Can this benefit West Ham?

Whichever direction he leans, Rice needs to make his mind up. At such a young age, he does not need the burden of a major decision hanging over his head.

Rice is very mature for his age. He takes everything in his stride and is not easily knocked back.

IPSWICH, ENGLAND – JULY 28: Declan Rice of West Ham during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Ipswich Town and West Ham United at Portman Road on July 28, 2018 in Ipswich, England. (Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Getty Images)

But this will be eating away at him. Is he English? Is he Irish?

His colleagues will be supportive no matter which path he chooses to take. But this decision is not one he can mull over for too long.

Once the talented teenager makes up his mind, West Ham could see a focused youngster become a first-team regular.

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