Rice has 'loved every minute' in 'number six' role for England

Declan Rice in action for England
[Getty Images]

Declan Rice says he has "loved every minute" of playing in a defensive midfield role for England and he is "happy" to play there or further forward for boss Gareth Southgate.

At a news conference previewing England's final Euro 2024 group game against Slovenia on Tuesday, Rice was asked about the more attacking role that he fulfilled for Arsenal in the second half of the Premier League season, and whether playing in that position for England would help the national team's midfield.

Rice replied: "I only actually moved into the eight position after Christmas. I played my first six or seven months as a number six under Mikel [Arteta, Arsenal manager].

"My first ever discussions with him were for me to go to Arsenal and play as a number six. That's where he sees me as my best position. But, as we started to train and play more, he liked me in the eight role as well - it also gave us a little bit more balance when Jorginho played.

"I can play both - I'm happy to play eight, I'm happy to play six.

"For England, for the majority I have played six and I have loved every single minute of it, but obviously it is the manager's decision. Whatever he sees, I will always go out there and give 100%, no matter what."