Declan Rice: 5 qualities the English midfielder will bring to the Arsenal team

Arsenal's new signing Declan Rice alongside manager Mikel Arteta

Declan Rice: 5 qualities the English midfielder will bring to the Arsenal team

Stephen Oladehinde 13:41 - 15.07.2023

Declan Rice has finally completed his move to Arsenal after agreeing a fee with West Ham several days ago.

The former West Ham captain became the Gunners' top priority this summer transfer window towards the end of the 2022/2023 season.

The West Ham midfielder made his debut in 2017 against Southampton and has grown to be a regular for the Hammers. He was then made the club captain following the retirement of Mark Noble in May 2022.

His top-class performance in the last two seasons has caught the eye of big clubs including Arsenal, with the Gunners looking to bolster their midfield with a top-quality player in the summer.

The Gunners missed out on signing Moise Caicedo in January with Brighton rejecting £70 million for the Ecuadorian. 

Arsenal signs Declan Rice from West Ham
Arsenal signs Declan Rice from West Ham

With the Arsenal new signing joining the team, we take a look at the qualities he will bring to the team and what the Gunners stand to gain.

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Declan Rice qualities and the benefits he brings to Arsenal

1. Defensive quality

Declan Rice's best quality as a defensive midfielder is his defensive abilities. The English midfielder is one of the top ten best tacklers in the Premier League this season.

His ball recoveries are high which is an advantage for Mikel Arteta’s side. He has been a rock in West Ham’s midfield and his tackling and interception is one of the attributes he will bring to the team.

2. Ball-carrying abilities

The West Ham midfielder is a good carrier of the ball unlike Arsenal’s Thomas Partey and Manchester United’s Casemiro.

This gives him the potential to develop into a box-to-box midfielder with a higher potential than Granit Xhaka who has also been excellent for Arsenal this season.

Only a few top-class defensive midfielders possess this quality and Arsenal will enjoy the Englishman next season.

Declan Rice beats Arsenal's press easily
Declan Rice beats Arsenal's press easily

3. Physical presence 

Rice has the quality to play as a number six, with the position requiring a lot of physical presence and the ability to progress the ball from the back.

He has a top physical presence in midfield thanks to his excellent pass selection, technical security, demand for the ball under pressure, ball-striking, use of the body to guard the ball, quick feet, mobile, and tall with a broad build.

In addition, he is also athletic and a technician who is at ease using both feet. Declan Rice has been observed changing the play with his left foot.

Arsenal new signing Declan Rice contesting for the ball
Arsenal new signing Declan Rice contesting for the ball

4. Decision-making on and off the ball

The English midfielder’s ability to make the right decisions at the right time is one quality every midfielder needs to possess.

The Englishman has the ability to make the right pass at the right time, take a shot at the right time and also know when to move the ball at the right time.

He also knows how to read through spaces and knows how to position himself to intercept the ball with ease.

5. Peak years at Arsenal

An average peak year of a midfielder is around 25-26 years and Declan Rice is getting close to that age. He is already showing a lot of his ability and is expected to improve year after year, playing at the top level.

The 24-year-old will be at the top of his game if he signs for Arsenal with many expecting him to become a world-class player when he hits his peak. The thing about Rice is that he is yet to unlock all the qualities he has.

With the former West Ham midfielder and captain in Arteta’s side for next season, a lot will be expected from them.