Arsenal transfer: A move for Declan Rice from West Ham would make sense – and here’s why

Arsenal You’ve got clear areas to handle within the two 2023 switch home windows in the case of squad depth.

The necessity for reinforcements on a big scale took precedence this month, with the pursuit of them failing Mykhailo Modric and signal Leandro Trossard. Central midfield is subsequent on the agenda given the large drop within the first-choice trio Martin OdegaardAnd Thomas Partey And Granite Shaka And The second collection who’re despatched off each time Mikel Arteta rotates his facet.

This was demonstrated within the membership Planning a summer season transfer for Declan Rice at West Hama switch that will make sense for them on a couple of fronts.

Most significantly, common England Rice, 24, will add to her depth in midfield. Mohamed Elneny A constant participant, as his 93 caps for Egypt would recommend, however he’ll flip 31 in July Albert Sambi Lukonga, 23, usually fails to impress in matches when he performs. In distinction, Rice is prone to contest the beginning spot.

Arsenal have tried to bolster their midfield the previous two summers, after Bids rejected for Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz In 2022 thereafter Present curiosity in Ruben Neves of Wolves a yr in the past.

The technique in 2021 was to signal gamers underneath the age of 23, permitting them to develop on the membership. That is the window when Lokonga, then 21, arrived from Anderlecht. However the subsequent step in Arsenal’s growth has develop into clear: recruiting gamers of their mid-twenties who add high quality and expertise and are able to make an actual influence on their staff.

Gabriel Jesusand 25 y Oleksandr Zinchenko26 years previous now however 25 when he signed, examples from summer season.

Rice turned 24 on January 14 and she or he has already finished so 187 matches within the English Premier League and its captain West Ham to me European league semi remaining. Furthermore, he has began all England matches in Euro 2020 and World Cup 2022.

Earlier than we delve into how Rice’s traits match stylistically with the league leaders, some context is essential.

The flip of the field to the field he often performs in a pair with Thomas Suchek For West Ham he hasn’t been repeated at Arsenal, however he has performed sixth in a midfield three recently at membership stage and likewise tends to take action for England. A number of the strengths he shows at West Ham might be transferable to Arsenal’s means of enjoying, however a few of the calls for on him could differ.

Rice’s greatest strengths are his athleticism and defensive consciousness. It will likely be wanted, whether or not utilized in a square-to-square pairing or as a quantity 6, particularly at Arsenal.

As Tifo’s John McKenzie defined earlier this season, “Consolation Defence” for Arsenal It is set as much as stifle groups in their very own half whereas leaving areas broad the place fullbacks are positioned. Typically, it will likely be the middle again or the quantity 6 participant who rushes out to rapidly cease the counters when possession is misplaced.

That is the place Rice excels.

Take this instance from September Premier League A visit to Everton, as West Ham have been stripped in the course of the assault. Midfielder Alex IwobiHis first motion is to play the ball to the midway level, whereas his orange and blue counterparts are nonetheless enjoying the ball everton province.

Having regained his place, Rice doesn’t sink instantly. slightly than flip to have interaction Neil Maupay On the ball, he seems on the house Everton will attempt to exploit (to the left of West Ham’s stretched defence) Amadou Onana (from Rice handed to succeed in the place proven beneath) prepared to hitch the assault.

He covers effectively, anticipates the go and is able to make a sort out when the ball reaches Onana, stopping the assault earlier than it actually begins.

As Arsenal develop into extra dominant in matches, the gamers’ capacity to learn the play in such conditions will develop into extra vital.

That is one thing Rice already does regularly and extends past simply timing his tackles effectively when left uncovered in midfield.

He’s the participant with essentially the most recoveries (free balls recovered) within the Premier League this season (181, with Manchester Metropolis’s Rodri second with 177 and Arsenal’s William Saliba third with 156) and second for interceptions (32). . Chick Doucoure from Crystal Palace (34).

What actually units it aside is what occurs After, after make such interventions.

a technique to Manchester metropolis Final season, he is already on the transfer as Jesus makes his go…

…and intercept earlier than Ilkay Gundogan simply consequently.

His first intuition after possession is to push ahead, however with none assist he does a very good job of dribbling off strain and shifting the ball round.

West Ham may settle the ball – one thing Arsenal have tended to do that season – slightly than permit play to develop into a frenzied have-you-have-we-attack state of affairs, like a sport of basketball.

Nonetheless, if Rice feels there is a chance to maneuver on, he’ll go.

He did this for England vs France Within the quarter-finals of the World Cup final month to arrange a counter-attack after successful the ball in the midst of the street. Arsenal followers may additionally bear in mind his run in the midst of the sphere in opposition to them within the 3-3 draw on the London Stadium in March 2021.

A robust participant, the Englishman helps himself to hold the ball ahead. This can be the most important stylistic distinction between him (enjoying extra box-to-box) and Arsenal’s beginning quantity 6 as Partey is extra of a distributor than this place.

because the begin of final season, Cedar has the best variety of carrying distances (1,032) and the best whole carrying distance (11,729 metres). within the Premier League. Unsurprisingly, most of his progressive passing is within the center third, the place he makes extra work than the ball to maneuver West Ham up the sphere. His tally of 556 ranks sixth within the NL because the begin of final season however first amongst quarterbacks, whereas his 175 ranks seventh this season – first for quarterbacks once more.

When the 24-year-old performs these duties, his exact management is usually underneath the radar. Whether or not it is shifting the ball rapidly on the run earlier than taking pictures or passing it broad, or to make room for himself in the beginning of the dribble, it is an space of ​​his sport that helps in these areas.

On condition that Arsenal additionally use a midfielder in Xhaka, it may additionally present some tactical flexibility by way of how they arrange their midfield.

At first look, what Rice does with the ball could trigger reservations when seen by an Arsenal lens.

passes to the final third kind of repeatedly, With 154 tries profitable from 191 makes an attempt (fifth most within the Premier League this season)And However these are usually substitution play to the full-back reverse West Ham.

This appears to be the choice to maneuver slightly than play throughout the strains, one thing Arsenal gamers do throughout the pitch, however that does not imply he cannot do it.

England centered extra on this with him as No. 6, which was evident in that world Cup loss to France.

After recovering a misplaced go, Rice fired a pleasant forehand volley at it Phil Foden.

When Foden bounced the ball again to him, he assessed the state of affairs and slipped a go by a congested space of ​​the sphere to To Harry Kane (outdoors the body within the following screenshot).

Ken has Jude Bellingham He runs away from it, however fails to go it on to Borussia Dortmund Midfielder.

Twice in fast succession, Rice seemed to advance the ball and located his man on each events. Not each go he performs in an England shirt is like this, however moments just like the one above present us he can do it.

One facet of Barty’s play that has made him vital this season is his press resistance. was key Martin Odegaard purpose in opposition to Tottenham Hotspur This month he knocked three gamers out of the sport with one contact. Whether or not that may be repeated might be one other query for Rice, or another goal for Arsenal’s midfield.

As with line-breaking passes, this is not one thing Rice does on a weekly foundation however he is proven glimpses of it internationally.

As soon as once more, the France sport gives a working example.

Harry Maguire He passes it in the midst of the street…

… Rice strikes towards the ball however controls his again foot, opening for a flip.

Antoine Griezmann He jumps within the first transfer and Rice is ready to shut in on France’s half unchallenged, earlier than England assault on the correct.

If Arsenal’s curiosity is to finish in a switch, Arteta will need these traits to develop into extra obvious.

So far as targets go, Rice is smart for the Premier League leaders.

On the sphere, he excels in areas that not all midfielders can, whereas his limitations appear like they could possibly be improved upon. Off the pitch, he suits the course Arsenal are heading in, with room for efficiency within the quick time period but additionally for enchancment in the long term.

January will certainly be too early for any concrete developments. Nonetheless, each the participant and the membership are getting nearer to their frequent targets by enjoying within the Champions League And discover what’s required of them at this stage.

For Arsenal, this implies a deeply aggressive facet. For Rice, it will likely be a chance to proceed elevating his sport.

(Prime picture: George Wooden/Getty Photos)

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