John Giles can empathise with the West Ham defender's international dilemma

John Giles believes that Declan Rice has to do what is best for him in the tug-of-war for his international allegiance.

John joined us on Off The Ball on the day that Sky Sports reported that Declan Rice had privately declared for England; a claim that was quickly denied by Martin O'Neill.

"I would be very sympathetic towards him - he's only 19.

"As a parent, I would say that you have to do what is best for the lad. He played for us and he enjoyed it, but you have to do what is best for his future."

"For example, if he plays for Ireland, and I'm doing this in a very casual way, but say he gets injured very badly. He'd be forgotten in six months in Ireland.

"I'm talking about the national interest. We would all love to see him play for us - he's a terrific player and he would be a huge asset to us.

"He's got his life to live. And he has got to do what is best for himself, as anyone would.

John railed against some of the vociferous critics of Rice for not understanding the complexities of the situation.

"He is only 19 and there is a lot of pressure on him to make up his mind.

"My take would be that his parents and the people around him do what is best for him."

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