Declan Rice has taken to Twitter to send a message to England teammates James Maddison and Tammy Abraham after the Three Lions’ 7-0 demolition of Montenegro on Thursday night.
The West Ham favourite was not included in Gareth Southgate’s starting lineup, but watched on as Leicester City playmaker Maddison made his debut, and Chelsea hitman Abraham scored his first goal for the national side.
And writing on his social media after the match, Rice was quick to congratulate the pair.
He wrote: “Massive congratulations to James Maddison on his debut & Tammy Abraham on his first goal.
It always feels as if Rice is the first one to hail his teammates in this kind of situation, and it speaks volumes as to his character. The younger Hammer is clearly a stand-up guy, and it’s nice to see an England side with so much camaraderie in its ranks. From Rice’s point of view, however, he will no doubt be disappointed to not have started this one. Instead, Southgate opted to go with Harry Winks in the centre of the park, and you can’t help feeling disappointed for Rice. He hasn’t done an awful lot wring this season, and his average of 2.9 tackles, 2.1 interceptions, and pass completion rate of 89.6% per game in the Premier League, as per Whoscored, illustrate a player who has not let his form dip despite some underwhelming results. Of course, Winks is a fine player too, and you can’t help feeling that the pair might have a decent competition going for that defensive midfield role over the next couple of years, but here’s hoping that Rice is back in the XI when England play Kosovo on Sunday.