With our ageing midfielders Arsenal will need Declan Rice next season

Arsenal think they will strengthen their midfield in the summer, and Declan Rice is one player they expect they will acquire. The way various publications are reporting the Declan Rice to Arsenal story suggests that Arsenal is so sure that Rice will be in their squad for the 2023-24 season that they have already planned how to use him. Chelsea appear to have lost their grip on Rice, with a £105 Enzo Fernandes move making it appear impossible for them to sign him.

According to the Mirror, Arsenal executives believe Rice will play a crucial role in their midfield next season. The Mirror writes, “That would give Arteta plenty of options in the heart of the pitch, but Rice and Caicedo would both play prominent roles in such a scenario, but Jorginho, Partey, and Xhaka would retain key status in the squad—enough to handle a testing season that could exceed 60 matches.”

Yes, it is believed that Rice will join Arsenal, but Graeme Bailey says that while Chelsea are not a problem and Arsenal are favourites, Arsenal must keep a watch on Manchester City, as the Pep Guardiola team may derail their Rice plans. “One side that needs watching is Manchester City, who are again seriously considering him as part of a possible midfield overhaul,” Bailey told TeamTalk.

“With Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, and possibly Kalvin Phillips all possible departures, there will be more than enough room at City to take him, and they have always appreciated him.”

In terms of a move for Rice, Arsenal will not want another Mudryk transfer scenario, so they must start pressing behind the scenes for a deal by late April. Manchester City’s desire to reshape their midfield in the summer could be detrimental to Arsenal.

Arteta must be certainly  looking at his aging midfielders and needing to plan for many more exciting seasons after this one….

Daniel O


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  1. Having watched a recording of the Man Utd , Hammers match, I can understand why the Londoners are struggling this season.Basically their decision making in the final third is poor as is their defending at set pieces .In Rice and Paqueta they had two midfielders who more than matched their opponents in the first half when they ought to have been up by 2/3 goals.Like Leicester the previous week Utd only came to life late in the game and, basically, the result flattered them.Their luck continues in that they have another home draw against Fulham but I would not be surprised if Liverpool turn them over at Annfield.Rice played well, but apart from Bowen and Parqueta there is not a lot of quality to support him.

  2. Not only Rice; ideally I’d love to see Elneny gone and a younger replacement (Caicedo, may be?)recruited
    But it looks like Elneny may be around for another season. Money could be the deciding factor.

    1. I have never understood several things re. to Elneny.
      Firstly, WHY we bought him at all.
      Secondly , HOW he has remained herse so long given that he is way sub par.

      Thirdly, WHY he has a new contract.

      I can see he is well liked inside the club and is popular . But surely what most matters is whether or not he is any good? And he IS NOT!

  3. Something tells me Jorginho might move on especially if we win the league, and he would have earned the respect after giving his all.

    But Arsenal must make a bold bid to acquire both Rice and the Caicedo kid , regardless of what happens comes the end of this campaign.
    The core would not be only significantly strengthen with the dou, but will be a strong statement made.

  4. I haven’t seen enough of Rice so this is more of a question than an opinion, but does he play fast enough for us and does he have the range of clinical passing that Partey, Xhaka and Jorginho do? There’s no doubt we underestimated (or I certainly did) how much Arteta rated Xhaka’s passing skills and speed of moving the ball (although he is physically quite slow). Jorginho might not be quite as quick at moving the ball but his passing is very incisive. Is Rice in that mould? Or even Caceido for that matter? I’d love us to get Camavinga but I don’t think Real would ever let him go.

    1. In my opinion Declan Rice is a powerful defensive midfielder, the best playing in this position he’s head and shoulders defensively above all in the number six role.

      Though he is a good passer of the ball he’s no Jorginho or Rodri, but put him in front to protect the back four and there is where he wet his bread

      Players like Csrnavinga, Caicedo and Bellingham are all very good midfielders none are as solid defensively as Rice though of the trio Bellingham maybe the best carrier of of the ball in my opinion.

  5. It is important we understand more how the team sets up. It is then we can see what depth we truly need.

    With a DM Partey as sole midfield anchor (more like an an advanced CB), we play in a 433/523. Jakub Kiwior is the only guy who can come into team and provide a Partey presence. Else the team has no cover for here. We need 1 or 2 more DM in the mould of a CB.

    With deep lying playmakers like Jorginho or Elneny, the team adjusts to play in a 4231 system where one of the 8s esp Xhaka or Vieira drops into the double pivot. With guys like Lokonga, Patino, Azeez and Matt Smith coming thru the ranks with lots of loan experience, we sure have the doble pivot role quite studded. Not to forget Ibrahim Bradley who has now captained the under 18s to FA Youth cup semi final. We are weel covered here in this DLP position.

    Smith-Rowe will continue to be a hit and miss in the No8-CM B2B role for now. He doesnot seem ready for the defensive responsibilities that come with playing there. And right now, the winger/striker position is studded with even Nelson, Marquinhos and Folarin poised to play ahead of him with Jesus, Martinelli, Saka, Eddie and Trossard the main guys. I honestly feel its time we cash in on him. He needs to play that No10-AM role elsewhere. With experinece he will know how to enjoy to drop deeper and deeper like Iwobi is doing at Everton. But for now Emile is fun and enterprising at what he wants to do. It’s good we let him to elsewhere to be the protagonist. He has to play. We love him though. COYG!!!

    If Tierney and Tavares would not fully adapt to playing the inverted fullback role, we should cash in on them and promote Lino Sousa, Rosiak and Reuelle Walters.

    1. GB your opinIon is not only “humble”, as you state, but it is also weird AND VASTLY WRONG.
      Rice is a diamond of a player and IF we can land him it will be a tremendous buy for us.

      It seems to me so odd that you do not rate him , given that he is so widely acknowledged throughout football to be real top quality, that I suspect you have a personal agenda against him. I only ask, why is that?.

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