Arsenal made headlines today with the official announcement of the signing of England midfielder Declan Rice.
The 24-year-old completed a long-term deal with the Gunners for a British record transfer fee of £105 million, plus additional add-ons.
Rice’s move to Arsenal was not without its fair share of competition, as top clubs like Manchester City and Bayern Munich also expressed their interest in securing his services.
However, it was Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s persuasive efforts that ultimately convinced Rice to choose North London over other potential suitors.
Arteta’s influence played a significant role in Rice’s decision to join Arsenal, as the midfielder had already been convinced of his role within the team prior to Manchester City’s bid.
Despite the allure of playing for the Premier League champions, Arteta’s clear and detailed plans for Rice’s position and responsibilities at the Emirates Stadium proved compelling enough for the England international to opt for Arsenal.
Arteta had made it clear to Rice that he viewed him as a future Arsenal captain. The manager assured him that upon his arrival, Rice would immediately become part of the club’s leadership group alongside Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus, with Granit Xhaka’s departure creating a vacant role.
The promise of a lead role in Arteta’s strategic plans, combined with the manager’s trust in Rice’s abilities and his belief that the midfielder could be the driving force behind the team’s ascent to the next level, resonated deeply with the player. Rice arrived at Arsenal fully aware that he would play a central role in shaping the team’s style of play and overall approach.
While Manchester City did express interest in Rice, their pursuit of the midfielder was not as compelling as Arsenal’s proposition. Although City’s admiration for Rice was evident, questions lingered regarding his potential role within their squad.
Arteta’s approach during negotiations was characterized by clarity and straightforwardness. The Arsenal manager emphasized the club’s commitment to excellence and explained their culture, expectations, and plans for Rice.
Arteta made it clear that Arsenal aimed to acquire players who fit their profile and were willing to contribute to the team’s success. His metaphorical pitch likened the club to a high-performance car, with players and staff responsible for making it faster and more reliable.
“We have to nail everything we do and seek excellence in everything we touch. We explain who we are, how we do things, what we want from them, how we think they will fit in our culture, then try to do the right thing as a club.
“Buy the right profile for the right amount of money that is going to fit what we are going to do, and, in the end, players and staff are going to make our car faster and more reliable to have a great season,” Arteta said.
Rice found himself persuaded by Arteta’s vision, believing that he would have a significant role to play and be in the driver’s seat at Arsenal.
In his first interview as an Arsenal player, Rice expressed his excitement about working with Arteta. He praised the manager’s coaching methods, highlighting his ability to improve players both on and off the pitch. Rice firmly believes that Arteta is the right person to unlock his full potential and guide him to new levels of performance.
“I’m so excited – he speaks for himself. You see how he works – you got a real insight into how he works on the Amazon documentary, how he works with his players and not only as a coach, but psychologically how good he is with players, how he improves players. He’s a massive factor in the reason why I’ve come here.
“I know he’s going to get the best out of me. I know I’ve got more levels to go up in my game, and I feel like he’s the manager to take me to those next levels. I’m really excited to be working with him.” he said.