‘So important’: Gilberto Silva praises Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice

Arsenal legend Gilberto Silva has heaped praise on midfielder Declan Rice following an impressive start to his Gunners career this season.

The England international joined the Gunners from West Ham United for a club-record fee of £105 million last summer. He has since been a revelation in the centre of the park.

Right from the off, Rice looked at home at the heart of the Gunners midfield. He has become more creative as the season has progressed and has been a fantastic signing.

Speaking to The Athletic, Silva said that Rice’s arrival was so important for the stability of the team and he has been ‘very strong’ and has adapted ‘very well’ to his number six position.

He said: “His arrival was so important for the stability of the team. He is very strong to stand in the position in front of the defence and support the guys up front and he’s adapted very well.”

“It seemed like he knew everybody before he arrived. Sometimes when you sign a good player for big money, they can be frightened, but he looks like he knows Arsenal.”

Rice has been crucial to Arsenal’s successful season thus far

The 25-year-old arrived for big money from the Hammers over the summer, but that has not hampered his performances on the field. His Premier League experience has put him in good stead.

Rice has a passing accuracy of 91 per cent this season with an average of two tackles and 4.8 recoveries per league game. He has also won 51 per cent of his duels, getting booked only thrice.

The Englishman has shown excellent discipline in the centre of the park for Arsenal. He has played higher up in recent games with Jorginho occupying the number six role for the Gunners.

Rice is currently enjoying his best return in terms of goal involvements. He has five goals and seven assists to his name. The fans will be anticipating many more before the season ends.

Arsenal are currently underdogs when it comes to the Premier League title race against Liverpool and Manchester City, but they are showing their credentials by keeping up with the duo.

The club have won a stunning seven league games on the bounce with a staggering 31 goals scored and will be eyeing another victory when Brentford visit the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.com

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