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“Don’t think any club will make a better signing”


BeIN Sports presenter Richard Keys has labelled Arsenal’s acquisition of Declan Rice from West Ham United for £105 million as the signing of the summer.

The Gunners announced the arrival of Rice, 24, from London rivals West Ham on Saturday (July 15). The midfielder has put pen to paper on a five-year deal at the Emirates Stadium and becomes the club’s third signing of the summer after Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber.

Arsenal have agreed to pay West Ham £100 million over the course of the next 24 months. The Hammers could pocket another £5 million based on Mikel Arteta’s side qualifying for the UEFA Champions League and the number of appearances Rice makes for them in coming years.

Should all add-ons be triggered, Rice will cost the north London giants a whopping £105 million, dwarfing the £72 million they paid for Nicolas Pepe in 2019. The England international has thus become the most expensive signing in their history.

Despite the financial outlay, Keys reckons Rice is a solid addition to Arsenal’s ranks, and hailed the former West Ham captain as an elite footballer.

“It’s a lot of money – but I don’t think any club will make a better signing than Declan Rice this summer,” Keys wrote on Twitter. “He’s a Rolls-Royce. It’s a real statement of intent by Arsenal. I’ve got a feeling they might be celebrating next season.”

Signing Rice has taken Arsenal’s summer spending to over £200 million. They acquired Havertz from Chelsea for £62 million plus £3 million in add-ons. Timber, meanwhile, reportedly cost the Premier League giants £34 million plus £4 million in add-ons.

How did Arsenal new boy Declan Rice fare for West Ham?

Declan Rice began his youth career at Chelsea but jumped ships to West Ham in 2014. He rose through the ranks in the Irons’ youth setup before making his senior debut in May 2017.

The defensive midfielder made his first appearance for the club in a 2-1 away win against Burnley in the Premier League.

Declan Rice went on to make 245 appearances across competitions for the Hammers, establishing himself as one of the best number 6s in the world.

He also bagged 15 goals and 13 assists for the London outfit. After becoming West Ham’s captain in May 2022, he led them to UEFA Europa Conference League glory last term.

The former West Ham man made his international debut for Ireland in 2018 but soon switched allegiance to England. He has since established himself as a regular for the Three Lions, earning 43 caps. The London-born midfielder started in all of their five games at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

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Edited by Dakir Mohammed Thanveer


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