‘He’s a natural defender’: under fire England boss Gareth Southgate is urged by Tony Cascarino to move Declan Rice from midfield to CENTER-BACK… misery
- Tony Cascarino believes Declan Rice should be used in defense for England
- Cascarino thinks Rice and John Stones’ partnership would help the Three Lions
- Gareth Southgate’s side, who often use a back three, has been struggling lately
Tony Cascarino believes deploying Declan Rice as a central defender could help England solve their defensive battle.
England have not won their last five games, with Gareth Southgate’s side conceding seven goals in that period.
Rice is a regular in midfield for England, but Cascarino believes Southgate should put the 23-year-old on the defensive and play him alongside John Stones in a back four.
Tony Cascarino thinks Gareth Southgate should use Declan Rice as central defender
Talk about talkSPORTCascarino said: “I’ve been silent about this for ages, and I’m going to drive people crazy 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 also fast, Declan Rice is at the heart of the English defence. Absolute center-half.
“When you play alongside someone like John Stones, that pace becomes very important for England in a back-four.
Declan could play that position blindfolded. He’s a natural defender.’
Rice is a fixture in midfield for Southgate, often deploying a three-man defence
Cascarino believes a Rice-John Stones partnership would be effective for England
Southgate often uses a three-man defence, calling on Kyle Walker, Eric Dier and Harry Maguire for the defeat to Italy.
Stones missed that game due to suspension but is now available again, while other options include Conor Coady, Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi.
Since his England debut in March 2019, Rice has won 32 caps and has been used as a midfielder in each of them.
Rice previously played as a center back for West Ham, although most of those appearances took place several years ago.
While moving Rice to defense is an option, it could cause further problems for Southgate by throwing the midfield off balance.