Thursday, July 18, 2024

Arsenal sign Declan Rice from West Ham in club-record 105m pounds deal (Ld)

Arsenal on Saturday completed the signing of England midfielder Declan Rice from West Ham for a club-record fee of 105 million pounds.

The deal eclipses the 72m pounds Arsenal paid for Nicolas Pepe from Lille in 2019, while it is also a record transfer fee between two British clubs.

But Rice’s signing is just short of the British record transfer fee with Chelsea paying 106.8m pounds for midfielder Enzo Fernandez from Benfica in January, a Sky Sports report said.

The 24-year-old Rice has signed a five-year deal at Arsenal which runs until 2028, with the option of a further year and will wear the number 41 shirt.

“I’ve been looking at Arsenal over the last couple of seasons and the trajectory they’ve been going on. Not last season but the season before, they finished fifth but you could see the style of play Mikel was implementing. Last season was an outstanding season, blowing pretty much every team out of the water with the exception of Man City,” Declan told the club’s website.

“With Mikel and how he works, the squad, how young everyone is, the energy around the club and also the challenge of getting Arsenal back to where they belong, that means a lot to me. I know the fans really want that. For me as a player, I’ve come here really hungry to have more success and to spend my best years at this great club,” he added.

The midfielder already has vast experience, making 245 senior appearances for the Hammers as well as winning 43 caps for the Three Lions.

Declan started his youth career at Chelsea, before joining the West Ham academy in 2014, and signed his first professional contract a year later. On the final day of the 2016/17 season, an 18-year-old Declan made his senior debut and soon became an integral part of their first-team squad for the following six seasons.

He was named club captain in May 2022 and went on to lead the Hammers to the Europa Conference League title in June, and was named the tournament’s Player of the Season by UEFA. A regular with the England national team, he featured at both Euro 2020 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“We’re really happy that Declan is joining us. He is a player with tremendous ability, who has been performing at a high level in the Premier League and for England for a number of seasons now. Declan is bringing undoubted quality to the club and he is an exceptional talent who has the potential to be very successful here,” said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.

“Declan has great experience in the Premier League at only 24 years old. He has captained a very good West Ham team and as we all saw, he recently lifted a European trophy. The responsibility and role he has taken on has been very impressive and we are really excited that he is joining us,” he added.

Declan’s arrival at Arsenal takes their summer spending to 208m pounds following the signings of Kai Havertz from Chelsea for 65m pounds and Jurrien Timber from Ajax for 38m pounds

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