Arsenal remain interested in Declan Rice and he could be the missing piece in the Gunners’ attempts to go one further next season…
What’s the latest on Arsenal’s interest in Declan Rice?
The Athletic’s David Ornstein recently gave a fresh update on the situation, reaffirming the north Londoners’ interest in the 24-year-old’s signature to Rio Ferdinand’s podcast.
“It perhaps illustrates that Mikel Arteta really wants a prominent signing in there to help this squad going forward. So I’m really intrigued to see in which direction they go. Many Arsenal fans asking me all the time. We know the interest in Declan Rice is strong,” he said.
Back in January, the Guardian reported that the West Ham United captain was the top target for Arteta and co, with other reports suggesting that £70m could be enough to get a deal over the line.
What would Declan Rice bring to Arsenal?
Rice’s role under David Moyes at the London Stadium has often changed over recent seasons but it does highlight the England international’s wide skillset and major ability – he’s able to be a defensively-sound anchorman, a deep-lying playmaker and a box-to-box machine.
Currently ranking as the Hammers’ best-performing player in the Premier League this term, the Rush Green graduate has provided five goal contributions whilst maintaining an average of 2.3 tackles (second-most) and 1.8 interceptions (most) per game, via WhoScored.
In the latter regard, he actually ranks among the top 3% of his positional peers across Europe’s ‘big five’ divisions, as per FBref, who have also compared him – in terms of statistical profile – to present Gunners mainstay Thomas Partey, which bodes well for Rice’s chances of adapting to Arteta’s system.
Now capped 41 times for the Three Lions, Rice has been lauded as an “absolute monster” by ESPN UK editor David Cartlidge and is believed to be capable of taking a team “to another level” – in the eyes of ex-professional Paul Parker.
Indeed, with the Gunners seemingly letting slip of the title this season, the arrival of the Bukayo Saka and Aaron Ramsdale’s international teammate could be what Arteta needs to bridge that gap between his side and his former employers, having been whitewashed by them in midweek.
Rice would add some defensive stability to a threadbare engine room and isn’t afraid to chip in with goals and assists further up the pitch either. That strength in depth will also aid them in the Champions League too. Given the evidence above, it’s no wonder he remains one of Arsenal’s main priorities in the off-season.
Whatever the price, sporting director Edu Gaspar and co must pay up otherwise they risk this season being a mere anomaly in what has been a mediocre few years for the club.
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