Declan Rice claims breakout Manchester United star 'fully deserves his place' in England squad

England midfielder Declan Rice
England midfielder Declan Rice

Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice has said that his Manchester United counterpart Kobbie Mainoo is deserving of his place in England's Euro 2024 squad. Mainoo made his Three Lions debut earlier this year amidst a fabulous club season.

Mainoo, 19, enjoyed a breakout campaign at Old Trafford, contributing five goals and three assists in 35 games across competitions, starting 29 times. He made his senior international debut in a 15-minute cameo in the 1-0 friendly defeat to Brazil at the Wembley in March.

The teenager then featured for 75 minutes in the 2-2 friendly draw with Belgium at the same venue. Mainoo seemed to have done enough to impress national team boss Gareth Southgate to include him in the 26-man Euro 2024 squad.

Rice has explained why Mainoo will be on the plane to Germany for the quadrennial competition (via The United Stand):

"We saw in the last camp what Kobbie's done at #mufc all season, he fully deserves his place."

The Three Lions open their campaign against Serbia on June 16 in Gelsenkirchen before taking on Denmark four days later in Frankfurt and Slovenia in Cologne on June 25.

How has Declan Rice fared for England?

Declan Rice
Declan Rice

Declan Rice has been a solid performer for England since his senior debut in a 5-0 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier win at home to the Czech Republic in March 2019. The Three Lions would go on to lose to Italy on penalties in the final at the Wembley.

In 50 games across competitions, the Arsenal midfielder has contributed three goals. Impressively, all of his goal contributions for the Three Lions have come in competitive outings.

Rice opened his Three Lions account in a 4-0 home win over Iceland in a UEFA Nations League game in November 2020. His next strike came in a 4-0 away win over Hungary in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier in September 2021.

The Gunners man scored his third England goal in a 2-1 away win in Italy in an UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier in March 2023, avenging their loss to the Azzurri in the Euro 2020 final.

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