West Ham United is fast becoming hip to the notion that star midfielder Declan Rice will be impossible to keep hold of at the London Stadium after the 24-year-old England international has developed into one of the Premier League’s most-gifted central midfielders during his six years in the Hammers’ first-team.
Regularly linked with serious interest from both Manchester United and Chelsea, Rice - who spend eight years in the Blues’ academy before joining West Ham’s setup in 2014 - is now an open admirer of Arsenal’s ongoing project under Mikel Arteta and Edu Gaspar that has begun to bear serious fruit on the English landscape as the Gunners sit top of the table and are in serious contention for their first league title in nearly 20-years.
Benge’s report details the growing admiration shown by Rice in the wake of the Hammers’ loss to Arsenal on Boxing Day during the Premier League’s return to action after the conclusion of the 2022 World Cup,
“Sources say that Rice has been speaking of Arsenal in glowing terms to his teammates, pronouncing himself stunned with the progress the north London side has made. Indeed his private comments about the Gunners are said to be even more effusive than those in public, where he labeled them “a top team” that “you can see [are] coached incredibly well” after West Ham’s 3-1 loss at the Emirates Stadium on Boxing Day.”
Arsenal’s rapid rise in the league, which is all but guaranteed to offer Champions League football next season, also plays a huge part in the midfielder’s opinion of the club as a real destination to further his career.
“One hundred percent, I want to play in the Champions League. For the last two or three years, I’ve been saying that. I’ve been playing consistently well for my club and I feel like I really want to keep pushing. I see my friends here who are playing Champions League and for big trophies.”
The Gunners have taken multiple steps this window to ensure their title challenge does not falter this season in a similar fashion to their push for a top-four place last term that stuttered at the final hurdles, with the club securing moves for Brighton’s versatile Belgian international forward Leandro Trossard as well as Spezia’s Polish international center-back Jakub Kiwior.
Further reports linking the Gunners with interest in French international and Real Madrid midfielder Eduardo Camavinga offer continued proof that the club is set to push for some of the biggest available names on the market to guarantee current and future progression as the project in north London hits top gear.