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"It's worrying" - Keith Andrews' praying that Declan Rice sticks with Ireland


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There was plenty of interest from these shores late on in the match between Southampton and Tottenham last Sunday when Michael Obafemi entered the fray.

The young Saints striker is an Ireland youth international and his minutes on the field, he almost got on the scoresheet in his Premier League debut.

But a report in The Guardian Nigeria states that the 17 year old has committed his international future to Nigeria rather than Ireland.

While that would be a blow given his potential, ex-Ireland midfielder Keith Andrews is more worried about another case - namely that of Declan Rice.

Speaking on our Keith Andrews Show which you can watch live on Off The Ball on Facebook, Persicope and YouTube every Thursday from 12.45pm, Keith discussed Obafemi before turning his attention for Ireland to lose out on Rice, who has impressed for West Ham and also been called into the Ireland senior squad - although he remains uncapped in a competitive game which is the concern.

Declan Rice

"The initial and more pressing one for me is Declan Rice because he's a player playing in the Premier League, he's just got 19 and getting minutes in the Premier League - we don't see it [often], it's a rarity now," he said of the versatile midfielder and defender.

"He just looks like he was born to play Premier League football."

Although his youth career has entirely been with Ireland, the English-born defender may well be on England's radar already which makes it imperative to get him capped competitively.

"I'm praying that he sticks with us and we get him in," Keith continued.

"It's worrying. It really is worrying because we're craving positivity, we're craving good news."

It's especially pressing from Keith's point view, given Rice's talent and temperament: "I'd be amazed if he wasn't captaining Ireland in five years time."

You can watch this week's show back in full below


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