Does Declan Rice love West Ham too much to be an Arsenal legend?

I am very hopeful that The Arsenal will sign Declan Rice, even though the price West Ham are demanding is way too much.

But we also know that if we don’t pay the asking price, others will.

However, my concern goes back to the day Thierry Henry signed for Barcelona, and I see the same kind of connection that both players had and have for their clubs and the fans they were leaving.

There is no question that Rice loves the Hammers and to leave is going to be a tremendous emotional strain for him, just as it was for Henry…

West Ham United’s English midfielder Declan Rice holds the UEFA Europa Conference League trophy on stage during a parade to celebrate the team winning the final against Fiorentina. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

I believe Thierry never got over leaving The Arsenal, and I’m worried that Declan might also be affected in the same way.


The fact that he (hopefully) will be playing in London, means that he will still be in contact with all his ex teammates and his old club…

Am I being paranoid, or does anyone else see the Henry parallel here?


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Tags Rice Thierry Henry


  1. I think the situations are different in the sense that Arsenal is a huge step-up from West Ham, and although Barcelona was a step-up from Arsenal, Henry had been winning league titles, cups, and getting very close to a CL victory with us.

    If Rice were to stay, he’d likely never play in the CL or win a league title at West Ham. He will have these opportunities at Arsenal, and I think that’s where his motivation to perform and improve will come from.

    Unlike Henry, Rice may need no adaption period. He knows the EPL inside and out, he already lives and plays in London, so I expect him to be a great signing, should we get him.

    1. Jen, while understanding all you say and agreeing with most of it, the point I probably haven’t got across, is the fact that he will still be around his WHU players and contacts – unlike Thierry, who moved to another country.

      As Jon Fox points out below, he does seem to be a very mature and level headed person and you have pointed out the positives for him…. but I’m still seeing Thiery’s face when he was introduced to the Barca fans and started his ball juggling skills… he missed home!!

      1. I get what you’re saying, but I think that staying in London makes the transition far more easier. Also, Rice already knows some of the Arsenal players very well via England duty which will help him settle even easier.

        For Henry, it was a whole new country, league, culture, city, etc. Henry was a living legend at Arsenal, at Barca he was just another player that was under huge pressure to perform week in, week out, given his reputation in the game.

        One can never legislate for how a player feels emotionally, but I don’t feel there would any issues with Rice at all.

        1. Edu needs to pull his finger out, other clubs are already signing players. For once PLEASE buy players early and not in the last few weeks like we always do.

  2. It wouldn’t matter

    Tierney also publicly declared his love for Celtic. Yet he is still a very good player and could become a legend at Arsenal, if he stays and helps us win a major trophy next season

    I’m just curious about the role Rice would play, because he isn’t better than Partey and Jorginho in tight spaces

    If he plays in Xhaka’s position, Smith-Rowe would find his chance limited again. If he plays as Stones did for Man City, it would be interesting to see

    1. Celtic is roughly 400 miles away, a different country and league.

      East London and North London are, what, ten miles apart and the two clubs play in the same PL.

      1. Grealish spent twenty years at Aston Villa since he was six years old, is the club’s ex-captain and donated £5,000 for the death of a lifelong Aston Villa fan, yet he still performed well for Man City

          1. gai is correct KEN, when he suggests that players are professionals and do not , in general, share our common fan obsession with just ONE club
            In particular, not when they are moving to another club, having decided to move on.

            Had Rice wanted, he COULD HAVE signed anew at WHU.

            But he chose to move on and that is surely telling us all something that the more worldly wise among us already know. Would you not agree?

            1. No Jon, he’s ensuring that he is providing for his family. Sometimes that means making awkward decisions that one doesn’t want to do – but it doesn’t mean one loses the way one feels about what he’s leaving.
              The WHU owner admitted that DR lost £10,000,000 by staying there last season – I would suggest that shows those of us who are more worldly wise, that he does, indeed, have the same love of West Ham as the fans who adore him.

              1. KEN I fail to see what your seem to believe we are arguing aboiut I see no incompatibility in your post and mine. EXCEPT, that he plainly DOES want to move, as events prove, no matter what the motivation for doing so. I ACCEPT ELSE ALL YOU WRITE and I think all I wrote is also correct.

                I never said he was NOT providing for his family. Did I!

                I ALSO NEVER SAID HE WAAS LOSING HIS AFFECTION FOR WEST HAM. Those were your incorrect interpretations of what my post said and of what it DID NOT SAY, also!

                In fact ALL players who have families do exactly the same. Provide for them!

  3. Players who join Arsenal generally fall in love with the club even if they have a previous alliance. So long as they get to play regularly and are aiming for trophies they are happy here. Look too at former Hammers like Ferdinand and Lampard and Cole

  4. Ken, On the faceof it, some will definitely agree with your valid point. But I see it differently. I believe that Rice has great character andis clearly a well rounded and mature individual and in life you CAN loveTWO separate entities concurrently.

    He is easily mature enough to moveon, while still loving West Ham, BUT WELL ABLE TO DEVOTE HIMSELF HEART AND SOUL TO OUR CAUSE.
    My only concern is, will we wish to pay the exhorbitant fee, or will we not?

    Some say, with justification too, that the price will limit our other buying needs. I STILL WANT RICE BUT NOT AT ALL COSTS

    1. Yes Jon, the player is all you say he is, but where will he see home to be?
      When he kisses the WHU badge it means something to him and I admire him for that loyalty.
      Will it mean the same if he kisses the Cannon?
      As for the price, I assume the club have a ceiling on what they are prepared to offer, while others wait in the wings…. that’s what MA, reportedly, gets paid £8,000,000 a year for and I’m glad it’s not me!!

      1. Didn’t realise Eddie started there TBH
        My point was yes he’s played the majority of his professional career at West Ham but it’s not like he started there as a 7 year old ,so I don’t see that being a problem ,my worry is that he actually isn’t as good as his transfer value

  5. His one and only love is Chelsea, and if they had qualified for the Champions League, that’s where he’d be going. Strange really when you consider they threw him on the scrapheap at 14 and it was West Ham who made him the player he is.

    He has no real loyalty to West Ham … or he’d be staying to try and elevate us to Champions League qualification. He will be the same for Arsenal, he’ll give 100% and be totally committed to the cause, but he will never love that club.

    Don’t forget, he had no loyalty to Ireland either!

  6. From what I gather HE wants to move on from West Ham presumably to increase his chances of winning trophies, playing in the UCL and earning more money which goes without saying. I agree with Jon that he is the type of player we need, a natural leader, but not at any cost.
    From what I’ve seen of Rice I don’t believe that his love for WHU will affect his performance. However – if he joins us – the test will come when he plays against his old club in the EPL!!!

  7. Rooney left his boyhood club, Everton, and went on to play for United for many years. He is a United legend, or isn’t he?

  8. Isn’t it a bit early to be talking of Rice as an Arsenal legend? The players he’s most likely to be replacing or covering for will be forgotten soon enough, so unless he gets to the level of Gilberto or Patrick Vieira I don’t see him being considered anything more than a good but unexceptional player.
    I’m open to being disproved.

  9. I don’t believe loyalty to the club you supported as a youngster has any bearing on who you will play for.
    These are professionals who are paid to do a job
    Whilst he.might have a soft spot for who ever but he will pick the club that meets his ambitious needs and financially desires.
    we would.all do the same in his shoes.
    Would be an upgrade on what we currently have
    Only time will tell if he puts pen to paper for us

  10. I think Premier League players are much more likely to hit the ground running, as has been proven by recent signings, so lets just get on and get this done, and not quibble over small amounts here and there.

  11. “Legend”, like “hero”, is a very over used and often misapplied term.
    Certainly the case when a player hasn’t even played for the Club.

  12. Rice is a complete professional and although emotions do matter as he is human, I doubt the emotions will get the better of him. Once he is committed to Arsenal means he is committed to Arsenal.

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