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Arsenal confirm Declan Rice shirt number after West Ham throw jab at Mikel Arteta’s side in farewell post

The Gunners have landed their no.1 summer target

Arsenal have confirmed the signing of former West Ham captain Declan Rice in a deal worth £105m, they have official announced, with the English midfielder penning a long-term contract in north London.

The midfielder came up through the youth academies at Chelsea and West Ham, and netted his first ever Premier League goal against the Gunners all the way back in 2019, during a 1-0 win over his new club.

He has gone on to cement himself as one of the best midfielders in World Football and has appeared 245 times for the Hammers, scoring 15 times and providing a further 12 assists.

He will wear the no.41 shirt at Arsenal, it was confirmed by the club.

Mikel Arteta told Arsenal.com: “Declan is a player with fantastic ability and a proven record at both club and international levels. The process of this transfer has been a big team effort with a clear plan, and we are so happy that Declan is joining us.

“Declan is a high-quality, young international player who will add great strength to our squad, fitting so well into our strategy of competing with young talented players at the centre of our club.

Tensions had clearly flared in negotiations and, according to reports, over how long Arsenal took to sign off on a deal that was agreed in principle 10 days ago. During their farewell to Rice, who captained the side to European glory last season, not one mention was made of the Gunners by West Ham.

‘West Ham United can confirm that agreement has been reached for Declan Rice to leave the Club for a British record transfer fee’, they wrote, before West Ham boss David Moyes added that ‘no player is ever bigger than the Club’.

Rice becomes Arsenal’s third addition of the summer, with Kai Havertz having joined in a £65m deal from Chelsea while they also confirmed the signing of Ajax defender Jurrien Timber on Friday, with the Dutchman arriving for a fee believed to be in the region of £35m.

They are expected to continue their hefty spending with another midfielder on their wishlist, as well as a forward who could provide cover for Bukayo Saka on the right hand side.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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