Keane on Rice: 'Where he needs to improve? Where do you want me to start?'

Roy Keane hasn't spared ex-Ireland hopeful Declan Rice in a withering assessment of the midfielder who chose to play with England over the Republic.

Keane on Rice: 'Where he needs to improve? Where do you want me to start?'

Roy Keane hasn't spared ex-Ireland hopeful Declan Rice in a withering assessment of the midfielder who chose to play with England over the Republic.

Speaking before England's Euro 2020 qualifier in Kosovo, Keane addressed the pros and cons of the young midfielder who is a reported target for Keane's old club Man Utd.

Rice, 20, has played three times for the Republic of Ireland but opted to switch to England after talks with Gareth Southgate.

"Well, where he needs to improve...there’s plenty of aspects,” Keane said on ITV. “When you think about him, over the last few months he’s had a lot of praise.

"I’ve looked at him pretty closely, I’ve worked with him when he was with the Irish squad. Where he needs to improve? Where do you want me to start? His positional play, I don’t think he’s been consistent enough, he doesn’t stay with runners, he’s sloppy in possession, I can go on.

“He’s one of these players I think a couple of months ago people were enjoying him and loved him but he’s one of these players that has almost played his way out of the team because he’s not been consistent at West Ham. He’s got another opportunity tonight and I think it is a position in the England team where Gareth [Southgate’s] obviously not sure who’s going to do that job in there."

The 20-year-old hadn't started for England since their shock 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic final month, with Tottenham's Harry Winks, who scored the opener in Kosovo, as an alternative most popular within the holding midfield place.

“It’s an opportunity for him (Rice) but he’s got to take it.”

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