Mikel Arteta has lauded Declan Rice’s energy and the qualities the new Arsenal midfielder will bring to the squad ahead of the new Premier League season.
Speaking to ESPN, the Basque coach was full of praise for Arsenal’s new club-record signing as Rice begins to settle in with the north London side, with the midfielder part of the squad currently out in the USA for pre-season training.
The 24-year-old could make his unofficial Arsenal debut later tonight when the Gunners face the MLS All-Stars in Washington D.C., a fixture that could be a great test for Rice in Arteta’s system before facing Manchester United and FC Barcelona later this month.
Indeed, Arteta played a big part in bringing Rice to the Emirates Stadium this summer. And the Arsenal manager is pleased with what he has already seen from the midfielder, with the boss saying: “He brings an aura and brings special qualities that we didn’t have in our midfield.
“Obviously, he’s got a lot of experience in the league and he’s done a lot at 24-years-old. He has had that personality, that way of thinking, the way he plays for his teammates and the way he’s capable of controlling football matches. That I wanted with me.”
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Arteta could take Rice’s game to a whole new level at Arsenal
Arteta’s ability to take good players and develop them has been key in the former Manchester City coach leading Arsenal back to their best. And with Rice, the north London figurehead could be key in unlocking another level in the midfielder’s game that nobody would have expected.
As we know, Rice was Arteta’s number one target this summer. And with the manager now finally getting his hands on the England international, there’s no telling how far the Arsenal manager can push the former West Ham captain in the years to come.