West Ham United legend Mark Noble has praised his former teammate Declan Rice, and has backed the midfielder to succeed at Arsenal.
Rice made the move across London for a British record £105m as a statement signing for Mikel Arteta, and Noble believes that he is worth the fee.
The 24-year-old replaced Noble as West Ham captain last year, and helped lead the Hammers to Conference League glory before departing, and his former midfield partner has heaped praise on him.
“Dec was not only my former team-mate, he was like a brother, at times like a son when he would come to me for advice,” Noble told The Metro.
“I just want to see him happy. He lifted a trophy for West Ham and he was incredible for us. I think there was a time when we sort of knew he would go at some point, for a record fee. He deserves it, because he is a top player and a top person. I think he is worth the money, I really do.
‘You know what you’re getting with him. It’ll be strange to see him line up in an Arsenal shirt when he plays against us but I think most West Ham fans wish him the best, because he was a great player for us.”
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High expectations for Rice
The England international arrives as one of Arsenal’s biggest transfers in history, both on finances and in terms of profile.
Beating title-rivals Manchester City to his signature sparked jubilation amongst the Arsenal fanbase, but it is now on Rice to hit the ground running.
His record fee, as well as his past experience as a trophy-winning Premier League captain, means that there will be some pressure on him to deliver, and with Granit Xhaka departing this summer, there is little room for a slow adjustment period.
Rice missed Arsenal’s friendly victory over Barcelona with a tight calf, but he should be able to play some part in his side’s final pre-season match against Monaco on Wednesday, ahead of the Community Shield against Man City next week.