West Ham United

West Ham United

Premier League • England

Declan Rice receives vote of confidence over England captaincy – ‘he has all the attributes’

Declan Rice playing for England

Declan Rice has earned a place among the England captaincy group, affirms manager Gareth Southgate, who sees the West Ham United midfielder as a leader for the present and the future.

Rice earned his 28th cap for his country on Saturday, as a substitute in a friendly win over Switzerland. Still only 23 years old, the midfielder has enjoyed a rapid rise over the past couple of seasons especially.

Having become a leader for his club West Ham, Rice has been a regular feature of the England side under Southgate. Indeed, he was a key part of the squad that reached the final of Euro 2020 last summer.

There will be many more caps to come for Rice. As such, Southgate already sees him as a potential future captain for the nation.

Southgate said, between the Switzerland friendly and one coming up against Ivory Coast: “It is noticeable that we were looking at two possible teams for these games and we now have more and more club captains actually involved in the fray.

“He is right amongst that despite his age. What I have seen this season is the confidence that he has gained from his experience last summer. I think he had a huge impact on the game when he came on.

“A really mature performance, strong, breaks the game up so well, but now has more confidence to drive with the ball and bring it forward as well. Without a doubt he has all the attributes to be a captain.

“There will be others, but we are gaining the rewards of the opportunities we had to blood him so young.

West Ham price Declan Rice at £150m this summer

Declan Rice will cost £150m if any club wants to sign the midfielder from West Ham

“The initial Nations League campaign and playing against the Dutch in the semi-final of that. They were the biggest games of his life at that time. He is now getting European experience with his club as well and all of those things are starting to come together.”

England’s current captain is Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane. Behind him, there are several members of the squad who have captaincy experience for their respective clubs.

For example, Jordan Henderson leads Liverpool and Harry Maguire has the Manchester United armband. Less guaranteed starters, Conor Coady and Tyrone Mings, also captain Wolves and Aston Villa respectively.

Club future unclear for Declan Rice, but international status guaranteed

Declan Rice during Manchester United vs West Ham

Rice has worn the armband on many an occasion for West Ham this term in the absence of Mark Noble. With the latter leaving in the summer, it’s likely Rice will take the leadership role for his club full time.

That is, as long as he stays. Rice’s mature performances have earned him plenty of admirers. He has been linked with a move to Chelsea, whom he previously represented as an academy player, or Man Utd.

West Ham hold the power though and have placed a huge asking price on Rice. They have him under contract until 2024, with the option of a further year.

The prospect of another campaign in Europe may also boost their hopes of tying him down. But he is an ambitious player and will want to strive to the top.

His club future will remain in the spotlight. But he is guaranteed to remain an important member of the England setup as long as he is in good form and shape.

Potentially succeeding Kane as captain in the future – however long he may have to wait – would be another milestone in his burgeoning career.

READ MOREMan Utd ‘need four signings in every area’ to compete in Premier League as Declan Rice ‘no way’ enough