Arsenal legend Liam Brady has given his verdict on Declan Rice.

Liam Brady is still a storied figure at the Emirates Stadium. The Irish midfielder was a talismanic player for Arsenal in the 1970s, making over 200 league appearances for the Gunners and helping the club to win the FA Cup in 1979.

The 67-year-old has now shared his thoughts on Declan Rice, who is currently starring in the middle of the park for the north London club.

Following the departure of Granit Xhaka this summer, who joined Bayer Levekusen in a £21 million deal, Arsenal paid a club-record £105 million to prise Rice away from West Ham United.

Why Pele Is Overrated.

Rice produced a fine performance in Arsenal’s recent win against Crystal Palace. The 24-year-old imposed himself on the match and helped Mikel Arteta’s side to dictate the game. He particularly shone when Arsenal had to dig deep and defend a lead with ten men, at which point the 43-cap England man demonstrated his talent for breaking up opposition attacks.

Brady has certainly been impressed by what he’s seen from Rice so far. Speaking on The Stand podcast with Eamon Dunphy, the former Republic of Ireland international said, “he cost a lot of money, but he’s a hugely reliable player, he never goes missing. Maybe he falls a bit short in running the game, but his passing last night was good…I think he’s only going to get better, he’s only young…he’s hugely reliable and much more so than Xhaka who we had in midfield last year.”

Crystal Palace v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Rice stepping up for Arsenal

There is no doubting Rice’s quality. He proved in his time at West Ham that he is one of the finest defensive midfielders in the Premier League. However, he will need to add new aspects to his game under Arteta.

Rice will need to show that he can be a consistent threat in the final third, alongside performing his defensive duties. He will also be looked to as something of a leader on the pitch, directing his teammates on who to mark and when to press.

The price tag, as well as the general weight of expectation lingering around Arsenal this season, will put more pressure on Rice. So far, though, the midfielder has looked comfortable in the limelight.

Related Topics