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Everton defender Keane has sympathy for West Ham midfielder Rice over Ireland exit

Everton defender Michael Keane has sympathy for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice after he committed to England ahead of a future with the Republic of Ireland.

Keane played for Ireland between under-17 and under-19 level before making the switch to England's youth system

Asked if he knew where Rice was coming from over the difficulty of the decision, he said: "Yeah, definitely. I have some sympathy for him.

"It's not an easy decision, it wasn't for me at the time, so I can only imagine it's harder for him.

"I don't know what his family situation is, who's Irish or whatever, but I knew when I changed that I felt really, really English.

"My dad is Irish but I don't know any of his Irish family, so I've never really felt like I'm fully Irish.

"So, I don't know how Declan feels but that was part of my thinking behind my choice.

"But it's one of them things. He's made a decision, we're happy that he's here and hopefully now people can now just forget that and let him prove his talent on the football pitch."

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Paul Vegas

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