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Declan Rice can be a natural leader for England and Gareth Southgate 

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Declan Rice has shocked the Republic of Ireland and switched his international allegiance to England.

The West Ham midfielder had already played three times for the Republic in friendlies, but because he is yet to feature in a competitive fixture, he is still eligible to play for Gareth Southgate's side.



Had Declan chosen to stick with the Republic of Ireland, they would have built their team around a player of his quality.



He may have to wait longer to become a mainstay in England's midfield but, in Gareth Southgate, he has a manager who has consistently given chances to young players.

Declan has shown incredible maturity in learning his position in defensive midfield.

When I watch him at West Ham I see a natural leader.

His decision is great news for Southgate and England.


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