There is no doubt that Mikel Arteta has big expectations for Declan Rice. The Spaniard believes the 24-year-old provides that physicality that was lacking in his midfield, something that would make him stand out in his engine room, and that is why he believes they were justified in breaking the bank for his swoop.
“His leadership, his aura, obviously the experience he already has in this league. He’s going to bring the team to a different dimension,” Arteta revealed via Arsenal.com.
“He’s got the physical qualities that we’ve been missing for a while; that’s why we had to do what we had to do to get him, because he’s really important for us.
“I see him like a lighthouse; he will light up the others and improve the others, and make the team better. The way he talks, the ambition he has, and the passion for the game is exactly what we need.”
Arteta felt it prudent to rebuild his engine room in the hope of laying the groundwork for Arsenal’s push to win the league next season. With the departures of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey (who’s also heavily linked with an exit), there was concern that the Gunners would lose experience and leadership.
That is no longer a concern, thanks to the entry of Rice. The 24-year-old can provide experience to his Arsenal teammates, and he may also be the one calling the shots on the pitch as he tries to prove why Arteta considers him a game changer.
Let’s hope he proves Arteta right and leads Arsenal to glory in the future…