Tuesday, May 30, 2023

West Ham United Star Wants To Join Arsenal: Should Arteta Get Him On Board?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent edition of the This Week In Arsenal Podcast, ESPN’s James Benge revealed that West Ham United star Declan Rice wants to join Arsenal. Benge said,

“With Rice, as reported before and everything I’ve heard since has made me more convinced, he’s really taken by the idea of moving to Arsenal. I think every party in the deal is of  view that it’s probably the right time to a move to happen.There are other clubs interested in Rice, that’s undoubtedly the case, but at the start of the season Arsenal wouldn’t have even entered Rice’s consideration. From what I’ve heard they’re a team they are really enamoured with and he has been talking with people about that move.”

Rice’s Impressive Form In Premier League Football This Season

Rice is having a decent campaign at the London Stadium despite struggling to help his team be consistent in the Premier League. The England international has found the back of the net twice and earned four assists in 34 appearances for the Hammers this season on all fronts.

The 24-year-old has been a reliable performer for the East London club at the centre of the park based on his average of 2.2 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, 1.4 clearances, 1.0 shots, 1.2 key passes and 0.7 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Premier League. He has even been tidy with his ball distribution after completing 89.2% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

Declan Rice
NAPLES, ITALY – MARCH 23: Declan Rice of England celebrates after the UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying round group C match between Italy and England at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on March 23, 2023 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Should Arsenal Boss Mikel Arteta Get Rice On Board?

Rice is a tough-tackling midfielder who can time his challenges well to secure the ball back for his team in the middle of the park. He usually puts his foot through the ball when needed and can also create some decent plays for his teammates in the opponent’s half.

The England international can shoot the ball with power and accuracy from long range and is proficient at making a few driving runs from midfield. He is primarily a defensive midfielder but can also fill in as a central defender if asked to do so.

We can expect Rice to add plenty of bite and steel to Arsenal’s midfield department. He could even help the Gunners win a few major trophies over the next few years. Thus, Mikel Arteta would be wise to engineer a move to get Rice on board during the summer transfer window as he is good enough to form a dominant midfield partnership with Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka at the North London club.

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