Declan Rice signing for Arsenal could be a game-changer for the club as Mikel Artera looks to get this signing over the line.
The Gunners have pursued the 23-year-old midfielder since the final whistle of the 2022/23 Premier League season and have seemingly beaten Manchester City for the race for Rice.
With the Gunners set to pay up £105m for the England international, it would make Rice the third most expensive British player in history and a serious mark of ambition for the club.
With a huge outlay being committed for Rice, there will be an expectation of the club challenging once again for the title next season.
But is Rice worth £105m? Only time will tell but with a significant fee being paid, the midfielder will be under pressure to hit the ground running next season.
What is Declan Rice bringing to Arsenal?
Rice obviously excels in the defensive part of the game but he isn’t limited to just that and contrary to popular belief, he isn’t a holding midfielder.
His positioning, awareness and physicality allow him to read the game and win duels in midfield, something that lacked for Arsenal at times last season.
His 2.1 tackles and 1.7 interceptions per game support this notion but there’s more to Rice than just being defensive.
At West Ham, he played as part of a double pivot alongside Tomas Souceck and has done the same with England alongside either Kalvin Phillips or Jordan Henderson. It’s likely he will do the same, with Arteta deploying roles for Tomas PArtey and Granit Xhaka.
This allowed Rice freedom in possession and his comfortability in possession will mean he will suit Arteta’s style seamlessly. Rice averages 88% pass success rate for West Ham last season and whilst he won’t be making line breaking, risky passers, he is safe and tidy in possession which will bring some much needed control within games for Arsenal.
Interestingly, Rice averaged 1.65 switches per 90 according to FBRef, meaning he’s always looking at widening the play and with the likes of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel MArtinelli hugging touchlines, there will always be options in wide areas.
Rice gives Arteta so many options both in possession and out of possession and will undoubtedly prove to be an exciting capture for the Gunners this season.