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Declan Rice praises Arsenal teammate who is ‘so quick’

Rice expressed the assurance he feels having an Arsenal teammate whose exceptional speed has been crucial for the Gunners.

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Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice
Image Credit: Getty Images

Following his signing in the summer, Declan Rice has been a key player for Arsenal this season, making notable contributions, particularly in crucial defensive moments.

While his late goals against Manchester United and Luton garnered attention, his defensive prowess has also been key for Mikel Arteta’s side.

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For example, in the match against Liverpool at Anfield, the Reds launched a threatening counter-attack that culminated in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s shot striking the crossbar. Though Declan Rice was unable to prevent the shot, his exceptional ability to track multiple runners forced Liverpool into a more challenging shooting position.

While analyzing that incident for The Athletic in a recent interview, Rice acknowledged Saliba’s contribution, emphasizing the importance of his speed in defensive transitions.

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Declan Rice said: “The way they (Liverpool) play, the football they play, it’s like a chaotic game that they create. Balls in behind from Trent Alexander-Arnold constantly, picking up the second balls, re-delivering, second phase, third phase, fourth phase — they’re just relentless at it. And at Anfield, especially the Kop end, goals get sucked in. But that game I absolutely loved.”

“When I’m backing off, I’m literally thinking, ‘Oh no!’

Arsenal defender William Saliba

William Saliba (Image Credit: Getty Images)

“I know Saliba is on my right.”

“He’s rapid,” Rice said of his 23-year-old teammate.

All season, William Saliba’s pace has been a significant asset for Arsenal, especially considering their style of play, which often involves pushing defenders high up the pitch.

His ability to track back swiftly provides Arsenal with defensive stability and allows them to play with greater freedom in possession.

While Saliba may not always receive the recognition he deserves for his speed, his impact on Arsenal’s defensive solidity cannot be overstated.

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