Gareth Southgate is aware of the close relationship between West Ham United’s Declan Rice and Mason Mount as he decides his England team, according to the Telegraph.
The newspaper claim on their website that the Chelsea man is set to replace Ross Barkley in the heart of the Three Lions’ side against the Czech Republic on Friday.
The Times report that the England duo still believe they hold telepathy on the pitch from their time together in the Chelsea academy with Mount closing in on his first international start alongside Rice.
Rice has burst on to the England scene in the past year, making five appearances for the Three Lions.
It would be fitting that Mount makes his England debut alongside Rice, who would help his friend off the pitch out immensely on it. The Hammers’ midfielder has been exceptional both domestically and internationally in the previous year, and his ability to anchor the midfield and get on the ball has seriously helped Southgate’s side dominate teams for the majority of games. In one of his latest appearances on the international stage against Bulgaria, Rice completed 98 passes, the most in the England midfield according to WhoScored, and that is exactly what Mount will be aspiring to do should he get the opportunity against the Czech Republic on Friday. Southgate would be smart to utilise both Rice and Mount together, as not only will it benefit the Chelsea man on his debut, it would also help Rice play with freedom alongside him – something that would only help England pick up another three points in their qualification run.