Mikel Arteta's top 3 signings as Arsenal manager

• Arsenal have secured some bargain deals since Mikel Arteta took charge

• Signings show faith in youth

• Acquisitions have evolved into world class performers

2 of 3

#2: Declan Rice - £105m (from West Ham)

Declan Rice
Crystal Palace v Arsenal FC - Premier League / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

When Arsenal splashed out on a club record, and at the time a British record, £105m transfer fee to sign Rice from West Ham in the summer, the fanbase was as excited as I've ever seen it - even exceeding the pandemonium of when we signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back in 2018.

It would probably be a fair assessment to say that Rice's impact in the short time since his arrival has been up there with the biggest of any player in the Emirates era.

As well as his undeniable world-class ability, the 24-year-old is also a natural leader, having been West Ham's captain last season. This has seen his arrival be a massive boost not just on the pitch, but also in the dressing room where he is already showing qualities that most managers dream of.

Given that I have done nothing but wax lyrical about Rice, you may be wondering why I have not chosen him as Arteta's best signing since arriving at the club. The simple answer is a combination of value and lack of longevity - neither of which is the player's fault.

For me, value is a big factor when judging transfers and, while £105m already looks to be a very reasonable, and dare I say cheap, fee for the Englishman, there is at least one other signing that I believe represents better value, which is largely why Rice has just about been pipped to top spot in my list.

Continued on the next slide...