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Why Declan Rice may have to change shirt number at Arsenal

Declan Rice may have to change up his shirt number next season.

Arsenal have agreed a deal worth £105m to sign West Ham and England midfielder, Declan Rice.

Talks are continuing between the clubs over how the deal will be structured for the 24-year-old, but it is expected that the Hammers captain will be plying his trade at the Emirates come the 2023/24 season.

However, Rice may have to make some changes when he arrives in north London.

Declan Rice has worn the number 41 shirt for several years at West Ham. But when the Arsenal deal is official, Rice may not be able to take his favourite shirt number as the club generally does not allow players to pick numbers other than the designated ‘senior numbers’.

Such an instance happened in the past when former attacker Alex Iwobi could not take his preferred No.45 jersey and had to settle for the No.17 instead.

Back in 2020, in an Instagram live, Iwobi revealed: “I actually loved big 45 when I came into the scene in the first place, it was a youth team number at Arsenal but they told me to change to a senior number, so the next available that was 17. Ever since then, it’s been that number and you’ve got to love it.”

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Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.

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