Declan Rice has revealed why he dumped Manchester City for Arsenal during last summer transfer window. The 24-year-old reveals that Mikel Arteta played an integral role in his decision ahead of other rival clubs.
Arsenal were forced to fend off long-standing interest in Rice from Chelsea and Manchester United. City had joined the race for his signature after submitting a £105m offer to West Ham for the midfielder.
The prospect of playing under Arteta was a key factor behind Rice’s move to Arsenal.
When asked what convinced him to join Arsenal, Rice told Channel 4: ‘I have to say the manager, Mikel.
‘I think just from the moment that I met him I knew he was the one I wanted to take of the next part of my career.
‘Just the way he spoke, his aurora, the way he sees the game, the way he wants to play football, and I think we’ve seen Arsenal the way they’ve played the last two years, the way they’ve played as a team I really see myself fitting in.
‘So far that decision has paid off. I feel really at home. I’ve always had that gut feeling that Arsenal would be the club from the moment I walked in up until now.’
READ ALSO: Finally, Arsenal confirm Declan Rice signing
Asked if he noticed an improvement in the training levels after leaving West Ham, Rice replied: ‘Do you know what, towards the end of my time at West Ham the players we had were unbelievable.
‘We had such good quality in the team. Last summer when we signed [Gianluca] Scamacca, Lucas Paqueta, the training went up another level when they come in.
‘But of course, at Arsenal you see the season they had last year. You just see the individuals they had, probably more national team players. I would say just the difference is in terms of the way now I’m having to play is much more advanced. Its much more forward thinking. Whereas instead of sitting in a low block, counter-attacking. It’s much more winning the balls higher up the pitch, being more aggressive on that front.
‘I’ve always wanted to reach the top level of the game. I’ve always wanted to get every inch out of myself and at Arsenal that’s where I see myself doing that best. So that’s why I made that decision.’
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