Arsenal complete record deal for Declan Rice

 Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard during the match between Arsenal FC and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

After nearly a week of a deal being reached, Arsenal finally confirmed they’ve signed West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice. The Gunners have reportedly paid £105 million, making Rice the most expensive signing for a British player in history.

While the price may seem high, there is no questioning the quality Rice will bring to an Arsenal midfield already without Granit Xhaka who signed for Bayer Leverkusen.

“Declan is a player with fantastic ability and a proven record at both club and international levels,” said Arsenal Sporting Director Maurice Edu. “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 center of our club.”

Arsenal beat out competition from the likes of Manchester City to secure Rice’s signing as well as interest from Bayern Munich. Joining a resurgent Arsenal is something that Rice is relishing.

“With Mikel [Arteta] 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,” Rice said. “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.”

With the move, Rice will get to play Champions League football next season as Arsenal make a return to Europe’s biggest club competition after finishing second last season.

There are big expectations on Rice’s shoulders as he is expected to anchor the Arsenal midfield for years to come. He’s proven he can do that at West Ham which is why he was in high demand and why Arsenal needed to pay what they did.

“Declan has great experience in the Premier League at only 24 years old,” Arteta said. “He has captained a very good West Ham team and as well saw, he recently lifted a European trophy. The responsibility and role he has taken on has been very impressive and we are really excited that he is joining us.”

Rice did leave West Ham leaving behind a European trophy after the Hammers beat Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final. While West Ham would have liked to keep him, he left behind a record fee.

Rice did pen a letter bidding farewell to the West Ham supporters.

Arsenal is certainly getting their transfer business done. Rice joins Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber as the club’s latest signings. Havertz arrived from Chelsea and Timber from Ajax. Arsenal is undoubtedly looking to improve on the second place finish in the Premier League as well as making a deep run in the Champions League after such a long time away from the competition.