Declan Rice has won an award for Republic of Ireland’s young player of the year despite the midfielder switching allegiances to England.
The West Ham star played for Ireland’s youth teams and has represented them three times at senior level but none of those came in competitive fixtures.
This means the 20-year-old was able to switch to England – a move ratified by FIFA last week.
The Football Association of Ireland revealed that Rice had been selected as its young player of the year on the eve of what is likely to be his first call up for England.
Gareth Southgate will announce his squad on Wednesday afternoon and the midfielder looks set to be named in it.
A statement from the FAI read: “The award was voted for by members of the SSE Airtricity Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland.
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“At the time of the vote, Declan Rice was an Ireland international and qualified for the Young Player category in a year that saw him win three senior caps, all in ‘3’ International Friendly games.
“Declan Rice has since opted to switch his allegiance to England. The FAI has completed his international transfer via the FIFA protocols and wishes him well in the future.”