Arsenal have had a productive transfer window, spending over £200m on new recruits, and former captain Cesc Fabregas has singled out one of the arrivals for praise.
Declan Rice joined in a club-record deal from West Ham and has already impressed, picking up the man of the match award in Arsenal’s victory away at Crystal Palace after a fine display in the middle of the park.
The England international was West Ham’s captain prior to his move, and has brought a lot of character and leadership to this young Arsenal side.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Fabregas highlighted Rice’s character as a positive influence for Arsenal.
“Declan Rice is fantastic,” he stated.
“His personality brings a new dimension to the team, and he doesn’t really need too much time to adapt because he is so smart. He could be a big leader for Arsenal.”
The perfect addition
Arsenal broke the bank to bring Rice in, but it was clear that he was the ideal target for Mikel Arteta this summer.
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On the pitch, he can play as both a defensive midfielder and a box-to-box option, and has already excelled in both roles.
Given his experience with West Ham, he needed little time to adapt, and it is remarkable how quickly he has adjusted to Arsenal’s system. It took over a year for Thomas Partey to get used to the defensive midfield role in this Arsenal side, whereas Rice looks a natural fit after just three league games.
Off the pitch, he provides experience and character to a young dressing room, and was already close with Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah prior to his arrival. He will likely be a mainstay in the Arsenal side for years to come, and can help captain Martin Odegaard lead the team as the Gunners challenge for major trophies.
Securing Rice ahead of Manchester City was vital, and now that he is an Arsenal player, he will hopefully continue to impress at the Emirates Stadium.