Thursday, June 30, 2022

Arsenal Emerge As Potential Destination For West Ham United Ace: A Massive Coup For Arteta?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Daily Mail, Arsenal could enter the race to sign Declan Rice this summer. The West Ham United midfielder faces an uncertain future at London Stadium, with a host of top clubs across Europe reportedly interested in his services. The report claims that Arsenal could also fancy making a move for the English international, with Mikel Arteta particularly keen on reinforcing the midfield unit.

How has Declan Rice fared this season?

Rice has once again been an ever-present figure in the West Ham side this season. He has made 29 league appearances, registering two assists and building a strong partnership with Mark Noble.

There is no doubt that the Hammers have been one of the worst-performing teams in the Premier League this term. But, Rice has been able to maintain his consistency. His defensive contributions at the base of midfield have been critical in minimising the club’s mishaps at the back.

Rice’s tally of 61 interceptions is the joint-second highest in the league while the midfielder has attempted third-highest number of tackles. Also, the West Ham star has averaged 1.4 aerial duels and 1.4 clearances per game as well as attaining a pass completion rate of 86%.

What can he add to the table?

Statistics clearly suggest that Rice is a defensively astute holding midfielder. He is not afraid to commit himself into tackles and stop the opposition on their tracks. The English international is particularly good at reading the game, thus allowing him to cut out passing lanes in the middle third of the pitch.

Arsenal could enter race to sign Declan Rice this summer - A superstar in the making?
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 12: Declan Rice of West Ham United celebrates scoring the winning goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Arsenal FC at London Stadium on January 12, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Aside from that, Rice is also known for his crisp passing. He tends to rely on short passes and is usually very aware of his options, making him a productive outlet in the build-up play.

Arsenal could enter race to sign Declan Rice this summer: A massive coup for Arteta?

Rice could serve as a potential answer to Arsenal’s midfield problems. His defensively astute nature, combined with his safe passing and imposing physique would make him an ideal component at the base of Mikel Arteta’s 4-2-3-1. He is, in fact, an upgrade over Granit Xhaka.

The fact that the West Ham star can provide security for the backline as well as distribute possession would nullify the need for an additional supporting midfielder. That means Arteta will be able to deploy a more attack-minded operator in midfield. Someone like Dani Ceballos, for example, could thrive alongside Rice.

That being said, the English international is courted by a host of top clubs across Europe. And with the midfielder still having a four-year contract at West Ham, he will, no doubt, cost a fortune. Hence, Rice, at the moment, is an unrealistic target for the Gunners.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

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