Arsenal aimed to strengthen their midfield this summer. Last season, they achieved meaningful results by building a solid midfield line of Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, and Martin Odegaard, but reinforcement was inevitable to aim higher in the new season. With Xhaka’s departure becoming a fait accompli and Party’s future also uncertain, Arsenal sought a ‘sure’ resource to fill their void.

The top target was West Ham United’s Rice. Rice’s main position is a defensive midfielder, but he is also a ‘utility’ resource with offensive abilities. Although he is only 24 years old, he captained West Ham and even lifted the trophy in the UEFA Europa League (UECL) in the 2022-23 season.

He is considered the best third-line midfielder in the world, not just in England. He already boasts a solid position in the England national team and is firmly in charge of the midfield regardless of partners such as Calvin Phillips and Jude Bellingham.

Besides Arsenal, many other clubs were targeting him. Rice’s ‘home team’, Chelsea, has been steadily pursuing his recruitment, and Manchester City, which is missing Ilkay Gundogan, has also shown interest in him.

The final winner was Arsenal. Arsenal invested an astronomical amount of 116.6 million euros (about 166.6 billion won) to recruit Rice. This figure was only a few billion different from Enzo Fernandez, who joined Chelsea last winter, breaking the highest ever in the Premier League (PL). Since there was only one year left on Rice’s contract with West Ham, some fans criticized Arsenal for ‘overpaying’.

However, recruitment has been successful so far. Rice immediately established himself as Arsenal’s starting player and is leading the team. He started as a starter in all 5 games, including the cup competition, and saved the team by scoring a dramatic comeback goal in extra time in the second half against Manchester United.

Rice became Arsenal’s fortune. Saka also had a role to play here. According to British outlet Talk Sport, he said: “Rice asked me a few questions and I answered them. I tried my best to convince Rice that moving to Arsenal was the right choice for him to join the team. “I was sure that if we did, he would get better. And we succeeded in embracing him,” he said.

By: 먹튀검증

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *