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 relating to 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 massive drop within the first-choice trio Martin OdegaardAnd Thomas Partey And Granite Shaka And The second sequence who’re despatched off at any time when 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 just a few 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 counsel, however he’ll flip 31 in July Albert Sambi Lukonga, 23, typically 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 12 months 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 improvement has change into clear: recruiting gamers of their mid-twenties who add high quality and expertise and are able to make an actual influence on their crew.

Gabriel Jesusand 25 y Oleksandr Zinchenko26 years outdated now however 25 when he signed, examples from summer season.

Rice turned 24 on January 14 and he or she has already performed so 187 matches within the English Premier League and its captain West Ham to me European league semi last. 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 these days at membership stage and likewise tends to take action for England. Among the strengths he shows at West Ham shall be transferable to Arsenal’s manner of enjoying, however a number of the calls for on him could differ.

Rice’s greatest strengths are his athleticism and defensive consciousness. It is going to 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 huge the place fullbacks are positioned. Usually, it is going to be the middle again or the quantity 6 participant who rushes out to shortly 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 throughout 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. somewhat than flip to interact Neil Maupay On the ball, he appears to be like on the house Everton will attempt to exploit (to the left of West Ham’s stretched defence) Amadou Onana (from Rice handed to achieve the place proven beneath) prepared to affix the assault.

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

As Arsenal change into extra dominant in matches, the gamers’ means to learn the play in such conditions will change into extra necessary.

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 probably 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 method to Manchester metropolis Final season, he is already on the transfer as Jesus makes his cross…

…and intercept earlier than Ilkay Gundogan simply because of this.

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

West Ham might settle the ball – one thing Arsenal have tended to do that season – somewhat than permit play to change into a frenzied have-you-have-we-attack situation, like a recreation of basketball.

Nevertheless, 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 profitable the ball in the midst of the highway. Arsenal followers might also keep in mind his run in the midst of the sector towards 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 very best variety of carrying distances (1,032) and the very best complete 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 sector. 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 commonly underneath the radar. Whether or not it is shifting the ball shortly on the run earlier than capturing or passing it huge, or to make room for himself at the beginning of the dribble, it is an space of ​​his recreation that helps in these areas.

Provided that Arsenal additionally use a midfielder in Xhaka, it might additionally present some tactical flexibility when it comes to how they arrange their midfield.

At first look, what Rice does with the ball could trigger reservations when considered by way of 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 typically substitution play to the full-back reverse West Ham.

This appears to be the choice to maneuver somewhat than play throughout the traces, 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 cross, 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 cross by way of a congested space of ​​the sector to To Harry Kane (outdoors the body within the following screenshot).

Ken has Jude Bellingham He runs away from it, however fails to cross 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 cross he performs in an England shirt is like this, however moments just like the one above present us he can do it.

One side of Barty’s play that has made him necessary this season is his press resistance. was key Martin Odegaard objective towards Tottenham Hotspur This month he knocked three gamers out of the sport with one contact. Whether or not that may be repeated shall be one other query for Rice, or every other 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 recreation supplies a living proof.

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

… 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 change into extra obvious.

So far as objectives go, Rice is sensible for the Premier League leaders.

On the sector, he excels in areas that not all midfielders can, whereas his limitations appear to be they might be improved upon. Off the pitch, he suits the route Arsenal are heading in, with room for efficiency within the brief time period but additionally for enchancment in the long term.

January will certainly be too early for any concrete developments. Nevertheless, each the participant and the membership are getting nearer to their widespread objectives 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 is going to be a chance to proceed elevating his recreation.

(Prime photograph: George Wooden/Getty Pictures)

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