Arsenal have all but secured West Ham’s Declan Rice for a club-record fee, but is the English international the Gunners’ biggest signing since Mezut Ozil?
We finally got the news that felt like would never come. On Wednesday, Arsenal agreed a deal with West Ham for Rice’s services worth £105m including add-ons per the Athletic’s David Ornstein.
The signing of Rice not only gives the Gunners their dynamic midfield enforcer, but it also now reinforces that the club is back… all the way back.
While some have stated that Arsenal “outbidding” Manchester City is a signal of the club’s intent, in truth, if City wanted to bid more, they would have, and in all likelihood, the Gunners wouldn’t be able to match.
But still, it can be seen as a win to sign a player City was reportedly interested in.
Declan Rice is Arsenal’s biggest signing since… Mesut Ozil?
In terms of Arsenal’s biggest signing, it certainly feels that way, especially if we are talking over the last decade or so.
Mesut Ozil’s £42.5m move from Real Madrid in 2013 was seen as something out of this world. At the time, there wasn’t a thought that the club could attract such talent.
How times have changed?!
Now, with a fee agreed for Rice, it signifies how far the club has come under Mikel Arteta and that it isn’t a selling club anymore. They have the means to attract the best.
With Rice being only 24 years of age, having him in the Arsenal midfield for the next seven to eight years is going to be huge for the club.
Finally, it has a bonafide central midfielder who is superb at carrying the ball, will add some much-needed power to the midfield, and with the ball at his feet, is capable of the fast, one-touch style of play Arteta loves.
It is a huge moment in the Arteta project at Arsenal and a needle-moving signing that depicts the Gunners’ ambitions after pushing City so close to the league title last season.
Kai Havertz is already done, and now Rice: two moves that look to shape Arsenal in Arteta’s mould even further.
Would Rice be the biggest signing since Ozil?
Based on what it means to outbid City, secure your number one transfer target, make a statement to the rest of world football, and sign a player who is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League, it sure feels like it.