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Declan Rice stirs controversy after making comments about Martin Odegaard

Declan Rice has significant following among Arsenal fans but his recent comments about Martin Odegaard has stirred controversy.

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Image Credit: Getty Images

Arsenal star Declan Rice has found himself embroiled in controversy after making comments about club captain Martin Odegaard.

The Englishman expressed his desire to potentially assume the captaincy role at the club, stirring unease among sections of the Gunners’ fanbase.

The 25-year-old midfielder, who arrived at Arsenal from West Ham in a record-breaking £105 million deal, sparked criticism from some supporters with his comments regarding current captain Martin Odegaard.

In remarks shared on social media, Rice reflected on his formative years at West Ham, highlighting his growth as a player and leader during his tenure with the club. However, it was his expressed aspirations to lead Arsenal in the future that drew scrutiny.

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“When I got to captain West Ham, I was growing in confidence and as a leader. I still see myself going that way,” stated the England international. He further remarked, “There is Martin Odegaard at my club. I’m not thinking about it, but if anything were to ever happen to him, I really would love to put the armband on for Arsenal.”

Rice’s remarks, perceived by some as a challenge to Odegaard’s captaincy, ignited a backlash from fans who accused him of disrespect towards the current skipper.

Odegaard, who assumed the captaincy under Mikel Arteta in 2021, played a pivotal role in Arsenal’s Premier League charge last season.

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard (Image credit: Getty Images)

Social media platforms buzzed with reactions from Arsenal supporters, with some issuing stern warnings to Rice against undermining Odegaard’s leadership position.

Others defended Rice, asserting that his comments were taken out of context and that it is natural for players to harbor leadership ambitions.

The controversy surrounding Rice’s remarks poses an early challenge for Mikel Arteta, who will be keen to maintain unity within the squad as Arsenal aims to build on the progress made last season and mount a serious title challenge in the Premier League.

As the situation unfolds, Arteta will likely seek to address any potential dressing room unrest swiftly to ensure a cohesive and focused team environment as Arsenal heads into the business end of the season.

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