England squad: Declan Rice gets first call-up from Gareth Southgate
West Ham midfielder switched allegiance from Ireland this month
West Ham United star Declan Rice has received his first England call-up since switching his international allegiance from the Republic of Ireland.
Rice had played three international friendly matches for Ireland but in February he revealed that he had submitted a written request to Fifa to transfer his international registration to England.
The switch was confirmed by Fifa on 5 March and the 20-year-old midfielder has now been included in the Three Lions squad for this month’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro.
England manager Gareth Southgate said that Rice deserved his place in the squad having impressed for the Hammers this season.
Southgate told the BBC: “His [Rice] form warrants his selection. It has been a well publicised situation with Declan and we have tracked him for a long time.
“When you’re asking a player to transfer association you have to feel the player has a future with you. Saying that, there are no guarantees, but his form has been excellent.
“We like his character and he can play as a holding midfielder or a defender.”
Southgate is without injured midfield duo Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur) and Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) but Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton has been recalled.
England’s 25-man squad
Jack Butland (Stoke City), Tom Heaton (Burnley), Jordan Pickford (Everton)
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), Michael Keane (Everton), Harry Maguire (Leicester City), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), James Tarkowski (Burnley), Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Kyle Walker (Manchester City)
Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Fabian Delph (Manchester City), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Declan Rice (West Ham)
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Callum Wilson (Bournemouth)
Ruled out with injury
Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United)
England fixtures in March 2019
- Friday 22 March: Euro 2020 qualifier home vs. Czech Republic (7.45pm, Wembley Stadium)
- Monday 25 March: Euro 2020 qualifier away vs. Montenegro (7.45pm)