Rice called up by England, a day after getting Ireland award

Annette Crawford
March 16, 2019

His maiden England call-up has been greeted with little surprise following months of resounding performances by Rice in the Premier League, and especially given fellow defensive midfielder Eric Dier's underwhelming season for Tottenham. We've tracked him for quite a while.

When he was crowned Young Player of the Year at the London Football Awards, she wrote on social media: "Couldn't be more proud of my Dec winning young player of the year".

"His form warrants it", the England boss said on Rice's selection.

Southgate has chosen to leave out Lewis Dunk (Brighton), whose good form was rewarded with an England cap back in a friendly against the USA back in November, with Smalling missing out despite some excellent recent performances for Manchester United. You've got to be very clear that you feel they have a future with you.

Southampton pair Alex McCarthy and Angus Gunn will no doubt be taken into consideration for future squads if one of them can establish themselves as the undisputed first-choice at St Mary's, while Dean Henderson - on loan at Sheffield United from Manchester United - was also mentioned by Southgate. Saying that, there are no guarantees, but his form has been excellent.

The squad will link-up at St. George's Park next Monday ahead of the first game with Czech Republic at Wembley on Friday 22 March.

Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton has also been recalled having not featured for his country in almost two years. We like what we've seen in terms of his personality, his character and his leadership qualities.

"We don't have many English goalkeepers playing, all of those that are playing have had moments and spells of good form, making good saves and days when they have not been so good", he told BBC Radio 5 Live and TalkSPORT.

"There were others who have commented despite the fact that they didn't play for the country of their birth, so they've benefited from some of the rules that are there".

"What I like in our squad, is there are a lot of players who want to be among the best in the world".

The Three Lions face Czech Republic and Montenegro later this month as they look to build on promising performances at the World Cup and in the Nations League.

"I'm never keen to say who is the number one because you have to have competition and we will help Jordan what was hopefully a blip at the weekend".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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