Arsenal are expected to pursue a marquee midfielder during this summer’s transfer window and it has been widely reported that West Ham United star Declan Rice is the top target.
The England international has been one of the most consistent defensive midfielders in the Premier League and he produced another stellar showing in the 1-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday.
The 24-year-old controlled the proceedings against the Red Devils in midfield. He had 60 touches with 34 accurate passes.
He won also seven out of his nine duels while managing four dribbles, four interceptions alongside two tackles.
Rice started off in the number six role for the Hammers but towards the back end of the game, we saw him take up a more advanced position but could not find the end product.
Nonetheless, it was another top showing against one of the Big-Six sides. In our opinion, Arsenal must start negotiations with the Hammers as soon as their campaign concludes.
Rice would be a brilliant acquisition for Arsenal
Rice was not at his best with his distribution yesterday but over the course of the season, he has completed 88% of his passes.
His defensive qualities are there with the best in the Premier League but the Englishman also has the ability to make late runs into the opposition third to create key chances of his teammates.
In our view, Rice would be a brilliant acquisition, given he could play in the number six and number eight positions at Arsenal.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta could initially start with him in the defensive midfield role but there is scope for him to play higher up the field with his strong distribution and superb ball control.
Earlier in January, it was reported that he could be prised away for £80 million but the fee could be much higher with the Hammers pretty much secure of their Premier League status next term.
Still, it would represent a good piece of business for the Gunners. Rice could be a leading midfielder for the best part of another decade and could play a big role in the club’s long-term success.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and Sofascore.com