‘My teammates know and the manager knows’ – Declan Rice admitted what role on the pitch he prefers

Football.london understands that Arsenal are eager to strengthen their midfield options in the upcoming summer transfer window, and their primary target is West Ham United’s Declan Rice.

The England international has proven himself to be one of the Premier League’s top midfielders in recent years, capable of playing as a lone defensive midfielder or in a more offensive box-to-box role. Arsenal fans have often discussed the position in which Rice would be used by Mikel Arteta if he joins the club in the summer, and Rice’s previous remarks suggest that he would prefer to operate in a more advanced position on the field.

He told Sky Sports back in 2021: “I think a lot of people see me as a simple, basic player who gets it, gives it and protects the back four. I know, my teammates know and the manager knows what I’ve got in my locker.

“I want to show that I can be exciting and I can take the ball forward. I have great athleticism.” Rice also admitted that he studies the likes of Arsenal icon Patrick Vieira, as well as Manchester City hero Yaya Toure – two of the best box-to-box midfielders that have graced the English top-flight.

“I’ve been watching the top players over the years, the Yaya Toures, the Vieiras”, he added. “There’s a long way to go to get to that level.

“But the way they used to carry the ball up the pitch and drive their teams forward is something I have been trying to learn and add to my game.”