Gareth Southgate insists Declan Rice can handle a grudge clash with the Republic of Ireland.
Whether the England star, 21, lines up in Thursday’s ‘friendly’ against the nation he ditched 20 months ago remains to be seen.
Southgate may well decide the UEFA Nation League games with Belgium and Iceland, the following Sunday and Wednesday, are more important.
However, if Rice, with 11 caps, is absent against the Irish at Wembley, it will have nothing to do with fears that a potentially-explosive clash would be too hot for him to handle.
The England manager has no worries in that respect regarding the West Ham skipper, who made three senior appearances for the Republic before switching allegiance to England.
And the same applies to Aston Villa winger Jack Grealish and Everton defender Michael Keath - both of whom represented the Irish at junior level.
Southgate declared: “In terms of Declan, we’ve got the same situation with Jack and Michael really. So, we’ll have to play somebody!
“But I can’t think too much about that. We’re obviously playing in an empty stadium, which makes things a little bit different, but I understand the interest in these players.
“I was looking at Declan in the tunnel at Anfield the other day and you forget he is captaining his club at an incredibly young age. I did that at 23, 24 and that felt young. And he’s 21!
“It’s an incredible responsibility and he's an incredibly mature boy with fantastic leadership qualities.
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“It’s one of the reasons, when there was an opportunity to bring him with us, we were so keen. Not only is there the quality of player but there’s the personality and character.
“We’re very pleased with that decision and feel it was worth the extra yards to allow it to happen.
“The alternative would be to be arrogant and think people will just want to play for England. That’s just not the case anymore.”
The battle for young world-class talent on the international stage is fiercely competitive.
But Southgate is adamant he would never make false promises to prevent a player linking up with another country.
He added: “We played Wales last month and they had Tyler Roberts and Ethan Ampadu, who were with us as youngsters.
“Everybody is facing challenges with dual-nationality players. We’ve got to get the balance right of not capping them too early, just to stop them going somewhere else.
“We want to be fair so they can have a career.“