West Ham United has officially announced the departure of midfielder Declan Rice to Arsenal for a new British record transfer fee.
Declan Rice will join Arsenal for a record fee of £105 million.
West Ham in their statement look upset with the way the transfer dragged for weeks and intentionally failed to mention Arsenal in their statement as the buying club.
The 24-year-old England international, widely regarded as one of the brightest young talents in the sport, bids farewell to the Hammers after an illustrious career at the club.
Rice leaves West Ham after an impressive tenure, marked by 245 senior appearances for the team. His final match for the club was nothing short of spectacular, as he led the team to victory in the UEFA Europa Conference League, securing a major honor for the first time in 43 years. The momentous achievement in Prague was a fitting end to Rice’s time at West Ham.
Beginning his football journey at the Academy of Football at Chadwell Heath as a 14-year-old in 2013, Rice quickly made his mark and earned his first-team debut against Burnley in May 2017. Since then, the Kingston-born midfielder has showcased his exceptional abilities on the pitch, gaining recognition as one of the premier young talents in global football.
Declan Rice’s remarkable contributions to West Ham have not gone unnoticed. He has been awarded the prestigious Hammer of the Year accolade on three occasions, in 2020, 2022, and 2023. Additionally, he secured the runner-up position in 2018 and 2019. Rice’s talents have not been limited to club football, as he made his full England debut in March 2019 and has since earned 43 caps for his country.
Following the retirement of Mark Noble, Rice was named West Ham United Club Captain in the summer of 2022, further solidifying his leadership qualities. Under the guidance of manager David Moyes, Rice’s final season at the club was truly historic, culminating in the team’s triumph in the UEFA Europa Conference League.
While the specific details of the transfer deal and the club Rice will be joining have not been disclosed, it is evident that his departure marks a significant moment for both West Ham United and the midfielder himself. The Hammers will now need to fill the void left by Rice’s departure, as they embark on a new chapter in their storied history.
West Ham Joint-Chairman David Sullivan says he is sorry to see Rice leave but thank the player for his services.
He said: “I am sorry to see Declan leave us, but I believe that everyone at West Ham United should be very proud of the part we have played in his journey from the Academy of Football at Chadwell Heath to becoming the most valuable young player in English football.
“I would like to make it clear to our supporters that we did not want to sell Declan. We wanted to build our team around him and made a series of improved, long-term contract offers to secure his future. However, once Declan made it clear that he wished to move on and seek a new challenge, the Club felt it would not be right to stand in his way, acting in the best interests of West Ham United.
“He leaves with the sincere thanks, respect and love of everyone here, having earned his place in history alongside the great Bobby Moore and Billy Bonds as the only players to have captained West Ham United to a major trophy. More than that, he has always given absolutely everything for the football club throughout his time with us.
“Declan will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Hammers fans and everyone here at the Club. We wish him well for the future and he will always be an inspiration and an example to any young player coming through our Academy.”
West Ham manager David Moyes added: “I’d like to personally thank Declan Rice for everything he has done during his time at West Ham United. Obviously it is sad when we say goodbye to someone who has been with us for so long but we must now look forward.”