Gareth Southgate Names England Squad For UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers

Rice handed first England call-up after switch from Ireland

Given that the Three Lions' boss has called up four central defenders, it seems likely that Rice will be used as a holding midfielder, rather than being utilised in the back line.

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.

Rice recently switched allegiance from the Republic of Ireland to England, ahead of his much-anticipated call-up for the Three Lions.

Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton is back in the squad having recovered from a shoulder injury and Southgate said he would be talking to Pickford together with the England goalkeeper coach Martyn Margetson before deciding on his no. 1.

West Ham United's Declan Rice, centre, cores his side's first goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between West Ham and Newcastle United at London Stadium, in London, Saturday March 2, 2019.

Southgate's comment was directed especially both to critics who have not "walked in those shoes" and former players that benefited from the rules.

"When you're asking a player to transfer association you have to feel the player has a future with you".

Jack Grealish declared for England in 2015
Jack Grealish declared for England in 2015

"It's increasingly the case, if you look at our under 16s over 50 percent of them have dual nationality and some could play for more than two countries", he said.

Preston-born former Ireland worldwide Kevin Kilbane has been outspoken about Rice's switch and said it "makes a mockery" of global football. Saying that, there are no guarantees, but his form has been excellent. "He will fit in very well with the way that we work".

England face the Czech Republic at Wembley on March 22 before an away trip to Montenegro three days later as they begin qualification for Euro 2020 - of which the semi-finals and final will be held at Wembley.

Reid, however, believes Ireland need to continue scouring the country for players who might be eligible to play for them.

On Rashford: "He wants to be the best player in the world and will dedicate himself to that".

"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".

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