Rice revels in Mount England link-up
West Ham star Declan Rice has revealed he fufilled a childhood dream by playing in the same England side as Chelsea youngster Mason Mount.
The Hammers midfielder won his fourth cap for England on Saturday evening as he played the full 90 minutes at Wembley in the Three Lions’ 4-0 victory over Bulgaria.
The victory keeps Gareth Southgate’s side firmly on course to qualify for next year’s European Championships and Rice now looks more certain than ever to be involved for the forseeable future with England.
After turning his back on Republic of Ireland, Rice has gone on to impress at the highest level as he’s transferred his fine club form onto the international scene.
Rice will be heartened by the fact he played the whole game to underline his importance to Southgate and it was already a night to remember for the 20-year-old before it was capped by the appearance of Mount, who was given his England debut, for the final 23 minutes.
The two players played together as kids and they remain close friends with Rice admitting it was a great experience to represent their country together – and something they spoke about when playing youth football.
“We last played together when we were 13 or 14, so it’s really special,” the Hammers man said after England’s win.
“We always said one day hopefully we’d get the chance turn out together and play. Luckily tonight we’ve done the best you can probably do in football, play for your country.”
Rice has also established himself as a regular for West Ham and has played every minute so far in the Premier League this season in Manuel Pellegrini’s side, while he has 74 appearances in all competitions for the club to date since first making his debut in May 2017 as a late sub versus Burnley.
Mount, meanwhile, is enjoying a breakthrough campaign at Chelsea under Frank Lampard after doing well under him on loan at Derby last season, appearing in all of the Blues’ games so far this season, while he has also scored two goals.
Aidan Perkins is a senior journalist that specialises in football stories. Aidan, a Liverpool fan, also has a broad knowledge of several other sports.