‘He’s a natural defender’: Under-fire England boss Gareth Southgate is urged to move Declan Rice from midfield to CENTRE-BACK by Tony Cascarino… who insists playing the West Ham star alongside John Stones in a back four will fix their defensive woes
- Tony Cascarino believes Declan Rice should be used in defence for England
- Cascarino feels partnership of Rice and John Stones would help the Three Lions
- Gareth Southgate’s side, who often use a back three, have struggled recently
Tony Cascarino believes that deploying Declan Rice at centre-back could help England fix their defensive struggles.
England have failed to win in their last five games, with Gareth Southgate’s side having conceded seven goals during that period.
Rice is a regular in midfield for England, but Cascarino feels that Southgate should move the 23-year-old into defence and play him alongside John Stones in a back four.
Tony Cascarino believes that Gareth Southgate should use Declan Rice as a centre-back
Speaking on talkSPORT, Cascarino said: ‘I’ve banged on about this for ages, and I’m going to drive people mad about this – the best way for England to play is a four [at the back].
‘And I really think the best person to play in a four, because he’s quick as well, is Declan Rice at the heart of England’s defence. Absolute centre-half.
‘Playing alongside someone like John Stones, having that pace is going to be really important to England in a back-four.
‘Declan could play that position blindfolded. He’s a natural defender.’
Rice is a regular in midfield for Southgate, who often deploys a three-man defence
Cascarino feels that a partnership of Rice and John Stones would be effective for England
Southgate often uses a three-man defence, and for the defeat against Italy called upon Kyle Walker, Eric Dier and Harry Maguire.
Stones missed that game through suspension but is now back available, while other options include Conor Coady, Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi.
Since making his England debut in March 2019, Rice has won 32 caps and has been used as a midfielder in each of them.
Rice has previously played at centre-back for West Ham, although most of those appearances came several years ago.
Although moving Rice into defence is an option, it could cause a further problem for Southgate in terms of unbalancing the midfield.
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