EXCLUSIVE: Declan Rice reveals exactly why he chose Arsenal this summer

Declan Rice
(Image credit: Stuart Manley)

Declan Rice has told FourFourTwo why he chose to join Arsenal this summer – after receiving interest from a number of clubs.

The Gunners faced competition from Manchester City in particular for the midfielder’s signature, but made it clear just how eager they were to sign the 24-year-old, and eventually sealed a £105m deal.

During an exclusive interview with FFT, Rice explained why he opted to make the move to Arsenal. “I looked at the squad, how young everyone was, how good they’ve been for the last two or three seasons, not only last year, and the trajectory they’re currently on,” he said.

“I saw myself fitting in, slotting in nicely, and the manager had a huge say in winning me over. It was the perfect fit, being a London boy and getting to play for Arsenal – I think it was the perfect move for me at this stage of my career. 

“When you’re wanted as a footballer and a club really goes for you, that’s special. And it’s not like when they try to sign you, they do everything, then when you get to the club you’re quickly forgotten. I still feel that love from everyone, the energy.

VIDEO: How Arsenal EVOLVED Declan Rice To Beat Man United earlier this season

Declan Rice and Mikel Arteta

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“It’s how they support you, how nice all the staff are, how everyone talks to you, how the training is. Just genuinely how the club is one family, because the boss has pushed the emphasis on that. I’m enjoying it.”

Working with Mikel Arteta was also an attraction, as he bids to continue his improvement as a player.

“I know there’s so many more levels to reach and feel like Mikel is the best manager to take me there,” he said. “I learned so much over my time under David Moyes and he improved me as a player.

"Now I can add a new dimension to my game – things I possibly hadn’t worked on before, weaknesses I had, and Mikel can bring the best out of me. That’s why I decided to join Arsenal.”

Read the full interview with Rice in the current issue of FourFourTwo, in shops now or BUY HERE WITH FREE DELIVERY

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