Declan Rice and Jack Wilshere spent two years together at West Ham between 2018 to 2020, and the latter may try and persuade his former club to enter the race for the young midfielder
Arsenal were one of the busiest clubs in this summers transfer window. As part of their ‘project’ they brought in Ben White, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Aaron Ramsdale, Martin Odegaard, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares for over £150m, and they may spend just as much next year.
Despite losing the first three games of the season and sitting rock-bottom of the Premier League, there is still a waft of optimism around the Emirates Stadium.
Although they can question the management and the style of recruitment, the Arsenal faithful cannot be underwhelmed by the money being invested into the club.
One player who may be on his way to the Emirates Stadium next season is Declan Rice, in a transfer fuelled by encouragement by former Arsenal fan favourite Jack Wilshere.
Action Images via Reuters)
The 29-year-old is currently without a club after leaving Championship outfit Bournemouth and is struggling to find a new team to settle down with.
Arteta has offered Wilshere a helping hand in his search for a new team by offering the former England international the opportunity to train with his former club to keep fit.
The under fire manager said: “[He is] someone that I know, that I shared a dressing room with,
“Someone who is so loved around the club with every person here and our doors are always open.”
If Wilshere does accept his former midfield partners offer then he may push for Arteta to bring in Rice, who he is a massive fan of.
Speaking last month on the talkSPORT Premier League Preview show, Wilshere said: “Whoever signs Declan Rice becomes title favourites,
“I would include Arsenal in that. If they had (Thomas) Partey and Rice next to each other and let the front five run wild. I mean it.”
The Hammers are thought to value their vice-captain at £100m and are keen to extend his contract to beyond 2024, when his current deal runs out.
Rice was a crucial part of the Hammers’ success last season, protecting David Moyes’ back four whilst also charging forward and fuelling attacks from deep.
At Euro 2020, he formed a brilliant partnership with Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips and enabled manager Gareth Southgate to play with four attackers who had little defensive responsibilities.
Rice has shown, on the international stage especially, that he is able to slot into central defence during periods of games to allow fullbacks to bomb forward and provide an extra element of security.
Should Rice move to Arsenal? Comment below
If he were to sign for Arsenal, this attribute would be pivotal given how White was best used at Brighton in a back-three and allow Tavares/Tierney to push forward and be a presence in the final third.
Although unlikely, if Wilshere can push Arteta into pursuing the central midfielder then they would have a very experienced player on their hands, and at still under-23, he wouldn’t breach their policy of buying for the future either.