Burnley midfielder, Josh Cullen has spoken about Arsenal target and West Ham captain, Declan Rice in a recent interview with The Athletic.
The West Ham captain remains Arsenal’s number one priority this summer as Mikel Arteta looks to add two new central midfielders to his squad ahead of next season. Declan Rice is expected to cost in the region of £100m which means if Arsenal can get the deal over the line, the 24-year-old will become the Gunners record transfer of all time.
Declan Rice has found himself looking for a step up this summer as he has the desire to play in the Champions League and compete for the biggest trophies in England. He can end his time at West Ham in the perfect way possible on Wednesday night when the Hammers compete in the Europa Conference League final.
Burnley midfielder Josh Cullen believes the West Ham star is yet to reach his full potential with the best is still to come for Declan Rice at his new club and with England on the international stage.
Speaking to The Athletic, Cullen reflected on playing with his former teammate during their time in the West Ham academy set-up together: “I remember playing alongside Dec in his first under-23 game. This game always stands out to me because we played Brighton & Hove Albion at The Amex.”
“Dec played as a centre-back and he was confident. He was probably 16 or 17, and he was brilliant. He showed his leadership; it was a new environment for him, yet he wasn’t afraid to voice his opinion or coach players in front of him.”
“It was a strange one with Dec because at the time he wasn’t the standout player. But you could see the quality he had. It was just a case of his body developing. I remember dropping him home at digs once. His age group had been offered scholarships and a few boys were offered professional deals.”
But Dec had only been offered a scholarship and he was a bit frustrated and down, which is natural. I told him not to worry about it because he had years to work hard and get what he deserves. Look at him now. I’m delighted to see how well he’s doing. The scary thing about Rice is he’s this good and he’s nowhere near his prime.”
The Burnley midfielder added that he isn’t surprised to see Rice impressing in the Premier League with West Ham and described the midfielder as a leader.
With Granit Xhaka set to leave Arsenal ahead of next season, Mikel Arteta is losing a big voice in the dressing room along with Xhaka’s top leadership qualities. Declan Rice is a rare player at just 24-years-old who holds great leadership skills as well as not reaching his full potential yet.
It will be a huge statement signing from Arsenal if they can get Declan Rice over the line this summer.