Declan Rice has revealed that Mikel Arteta was a key reason that he chose a move to Arsenal over potential switches to Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City this summer after Arsenal confirmed their £105m acquisition of West Ham’s captain.
The Gunners announced the arrival of the 24-year-old on Saturday afternoon, and revealed that Rice will take the no.41 shirt in north London as they take their summer spending to £200m just one month into the transfer window.
They faced plenty of competition for Rice, with Chelsea and Manchester United both having been credited with interest in the midfielder in recent seasons, while Manchester City had a bid for West Ham’s captain rejected earlier in the summer.
Instead, he penned a five year contract in north London with the option for another year, and revealed that Arteta was a major driving force for that decision.
“I’ve been looking at Arsenal over the last couple of seasons and the trajectory they’ve been going on”, he told Arsenal.com. “Not last season but the season before, they finished fifth but you could see the style of play Mikel was implementing. Last season was an outstanding season, blowing pretty much every team out of the water with the exception of Man City.
With Mikel and how he works, the squad, how young everyone is, the energy around the club and also the challenge of getting Arsenal back to where they belong, that means a lot to me. I know the fans really want that. For me as a player, I’ve come here really hungry to have more success and to spend my best years at this great club.”
I’m so excited - he speaks for himself. You see how he works - you got a real insight into how he works on the Amazon documentary, how he works with his players and not only as a coach, but psychologically how good he is with players, how he improves players. He’s a massive factor in the reason why I’ve come here.
I know he’s going to get the best out of me. I know I’ve got more levels to go up in my game, and I feel like he’s the manager to take me to those next levels. I’m really excited to be working with him.