Earlier this summer, following the appointment of Manuel Pellegrini as West Ham manager, the club's co-owner David Gold raised some eyebrows and ire when suggesting that the new boss could turn Declan Rice into an England player.
"It’s going to be pretty difficult if he’s Irish," was Roy Keane's response on the following day. Rice had already made his Ireland debut and would go on to win two more caps.
That all came long before anyone knew the 19-year-old would have doubts about his international allegiance. He had played for Ireland through the underage ranks and spoken well about his affinity to the country. It did not feel like this was another Jack Grealish.
On Monday night, Gold again stated his desire to see Rice play for England. His ambitions for the player for further, though.
"My hope all along has been that Declan first becomes an England player and then follows in the footsteps of the great Bobby Moore by becoming the captain of England," Gold wrote on Twitter.
"Born in England made in West Ham United."
Early days these are at West Ham under Pellegrini but the signs for Rice have not been good. He started the opening game of the season against Liverpool in midfield but was subbed off at half-time with his side 2-0 down. He did not feature against Bournemouth a week later and was an unused sub versus Arsenal at the weekend.