By 90Min
October 13, 2018

Former Arsenal midfielder and television pundit Paul Merson has weighed in on West Ham midfielder Declan Rice's current international situation.

The 19-year-old has earned himself three non-competitive caps for the Republic of Ireland but is also eligible to represent England, having been born in London, and is torn over which nation to pledge his allegiance to.

Merson believes Rice is good enough for the Three Lions' squad but can't seem to figure out why the youngster hasn't already picked the country of his birth, suggesting that the delay in committing to a country could affect his international career.

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In his column in the Daily Star, Merson wrote: "Declan Rice is good enough to play for England and would be in the squad by now if he’d chosen to play for us. But what exactly is he waiting for?

"If you have to spend this long thinking about which country you wish to play for, maybe you’re just not that keen.


"He’s going to have his commitment questioned whatever he does, and I think he’s been very badly advised. He’s done well for West Ham this season playing in midfield and he looks a real talent. But it might start to affect him if he doesn’t decide soon."

The midfielder, who Merson hailed as a 'real talent', has made seven appearances in all competitions for the Hammers this season under Manuel Pellegrini and has impressed in recent matches including against Everton, Chelsea and Manchester United.

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Merson also claimed that if Rice opted to return to the Republic of Ireland set-up, there wouldn't be any hard feelings, considering the quality of their squad, while also advising him to come to a decision as soon as possible, as it would benefit both parties.

He added: "But he would be welcomed back I’m sure if he did choose Ireland. They need the players, and haven’t exactly been pulling up trees lately.

"I just think he needs to make his choice. It has become a saga and it needs to end. You can’t keep stringing everybody along."

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