Southgate hails Rice response
England manager Gareth Southgate has praised Declan Rice’s maturity in dealing with social media threats after switching allegiances from the Republic of Ireland.
The 20-year-old claimed that “I’ve had people saying they’re going to come to my house” since announcing in February he would represent the country of his birth, despite having won three senior caps in friendlies for Ireland.
“You click on their profile and they’d just be a fake profile, so you don’t know whether it is true or not,” the West Ham midfielder added.
“When I spoke with Declan about the possibility of him transferring association across, I was very conscious that this was something that could happen, and that’s why I wanted to tread very carefully to make sure that him and his family had all the time they needed to make a decision,” said Southgate.
“I never pushed because I suspected that this would be part of the consequences of that.
I think he has dealt with everything incredibly maturely, he just wants to focus on his football and I think he’s been a really excellent addition to our squad in terms of his ability, but also his mentality and personality. He fits the mould of so many of our team: they’re desperate to improve, they’re desperate to maximise their talent and he’s no different.”
Asked whether the time was approaching for Southgate to recommend his players do not use social media, the 49-year-old replied: “I think a lot of the guys don’t anyway. I think the reality of being in the public eye is, whether it’s through social media or other formats, people are subjected to abuse and I think people are naive if they don’t realise that happens and has happened for years. London.