Sunday, June 23, 2024
Sport News

Arsenal transfer news: £105m Rice can become most important signing in history

Declan Rice can become one of the most important signings in Arsenal’s history, according to Jamie Carragher, as the Gunners compete with Liverpool and Manchester City in this season’s Premier League race.

Arsenal have bounced back from a run of one win in seven matches in all competitions around December and the turn of the year to propel themselves back into title contention.

Mikel Arteta’s side have won seven Premier League games in a row, scoring an astonishing 31 goals in the process and conceding only three.

They are only two points off Liverpool’s pace at the top, and one behind City, with both those sides clashing this weekend at Anfield in a top-of-the-table matchup.

The North London side will be hoping to capitalise on any slip ups, and are aiming for a first league title in two decades.

Key to their form has been Rice, signed from West Ham last summer for a £105 million fee.

Rice could go down as an Arsenal all-time great

The England international has developed into an impressive box-to-box midfielder under Arteta, contributing five goals, already his best-ever season in front of goal.

As the side from the Emirates go toe-to-toe with the two teams that have carved up every title since 2018 between them, Telegraph columnist Carragher has hailed the impact of the 25-year-old, believing that in time his landmark fee will be seen as a snip.

“Should Arsenal do it, the signing of Rice will be regarded as one of the most important in the club’s history – the final piece of the jigsaw turning a team of potential into champions,” he wrote.

Declan Rice Arsenal
© IMAGO – Declan Rice Arsenal

“It has taken no time to consider the £105 million Arsenal paid to West Ham in the same way as the £75 million Liverpool paid Southampton for Van Dijk,” Carragher continued. “A bargain.”

“Arsenal are five points worse off than this time last year, and yet they are a better side; more structurally sound and resilient.

“There is no expectation they will falter as they did at this point 12 months ago. Rice is the most significant reason for that, adding a steeliness to the team’s spine.”

Rice as important as Rodri

Rice turned down Manchester City in order to complete a move across London and, according to Carragher, is every bit as important for his side as Rodri is for City.

“He is not a holding midfielder. He is a complete midfielder. When Arsenal travel to the Etihad in a fortnight’s time, they will feel they have the equal of City’s Rodri capable of dominating the key midfield battleground.”

Declan Rice Rodri
© IMAGO – Declan Rice Rodri

City favourites to retain the title

March promises to be a crucial month in the title race with City facing off against both Liverpool and Arsenal. Should Pep Guardiola’s side come through those two fixtures unscathed, they will be well placed to win an unprecedented fourth title in succession.

“With good reason, most people still believe City will retain their crown,” Champions League winner Carragher said. “If they were to lose to Liverpool and Arsenal, it would make it more difficult but you could still see them recovering.

“By contrast, if Arsenal and Liverpool lose to City, the case for them to retrieve the situation is less compelling. It is far from all-or-nothing for Liverpool this Sunday, or for Arsenal at the Etihad on March 31, but they know from bitter experience how few points City drop in the run-in.”

Leave a Response