England and the central midfielder for Crystal Palace Adam Wharton reveals how Arsenal top player Declan Rice helped him get into senior England squad with less stress

Adam Wharton said Declan Rice helped him get used to being in the senior England team. The Crystal Palace player is now getting ready for the “dream come true” of playing for his country at Euro 2024.

Wharton has gone through a quick rise in the last six months. As recently as January, he was playing Championship football with Blackburn Rovers. When he moved to Crystal Palace in the middle of the season, he did very well during the Eagles’ strong end to the season, which caught the attention of Gareth Southgate, the boss of England.

When Wharton was first put on England’s provisional team, he had never played before, but he impressed in his 30-minute debut against Bosnia and Herzegovina earlier this month, earning a spot on Southgate’s final 26-man roster.

“It’s crazy how I feel,” the 20-year-old said. “I wasn’t really expecting it,” she said. I’ve only recently joined the Premier League. If I got in, it was more of a bonus, so I’m overjoyed. It’s just a fantasy come true.

As a child, every football player wants to play in the Premier League and for their country. I loved playing for the team I root for, and that feeling kept going when I moved to the Premier League and now I’m here. It moves very quickly, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Declan Rice recently gave Wharton high marks and said that his new teammate is “ready for the big stage,” even though he doesn’t have much foreign experience. Wharton is still not a sure thing to play with Rice in Sunday’s group stage start against Serbia because Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Gallagher, and Kobbie Mainoo are all competing for a spot. But working out with England’s star player has already been very helpful.

“He’s a great player, I talked to him, and you’ve seen that in the last few seasons,” Wharton said. “The way Arsenal play shows what he can do, and he’s a great person off the field too.” Little things like that have been coming to me. Basically, everyone is learning from him, but he is learning the most.

“I can relate to him, and it’s good to pick up on things.” Even if it’s just how to position your body when the ball is in a certain spot or telling each other something. It only helps when you’re playing. You find it easier because of how your friends talk to each other.

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