Declan Rice is a new Arsenal player. The Gunners have announced the signing of the midfielder born in 1999, who signs a long-term contract. £105m from Arsenal to West Ham making Rice the most expensive English player ever, also overtaking Jack Grealish at Manchester City.
This is a spending record for Arsenal, breaking that of 2019 for Nicolas Pépé, on whom the club spent £72m. For just under two million pounds it's not an absolute record: that belongs to Chelsea with Enzo Fernandez for 106.8 million pounds.
Rice's career at West Ham and with the English national team
After growing up in the youth sectors of Chelsea and West Ham Utd, with the latter club he made his professional debut on 21 May 2017, on the last day of the championship, replacing Edimilson Fernandes in added time of the match won 2- 1 against Burnley.
That will be his only presence in the season, while the following year he finds much more space becoming owner of the Hammers starting from the second round. He scored his first goal for the Londoners on 12 January 2019, in the Premier League home match against Arsenal, thus deciding the match with the final score of 1-0.
He captained West Ham numerous times in the 2020/2021 season, thanks in part to the many absences of club legend Mark Noble. After the latter's retirement, he officially became the captain, reaching important goals such as the semi-final of the Europa League in 2022 and the victory of the Conference League in 2023 against Fiorentina.
West Ham United confirmed on 15 July 2023 that the footballer has left the club. In August 2018, his behavior was the subject of discussion in the press: according to some sources, the senior England national team had gotten in touch with him to convince him to play for England.
This thing was not welcomed by the Irish manager Martin O'Neill who decided not to call him up again. In November O'Neil resigned and was replaced by Mick McCarthy; with the latter Rice had an interview a month later in which he was proposed to play for Ireland and become their future captain.
However, Rice declined the offer and therefore stated on 13 February 2019 that he would accept any England call-ups. Exactly one month later, he received his first call-up by the Three Lions national team for the EURO 2020 qualifying matches against the Czech Republic and Montenegro.
On 22 March, at the first opportunity, he made his debut for the British team in the 5-0 win against the Czech Republic, taking over Dele Alli in the 63rd minute. He thus becomes the second player after Jack Reynolds to have played for both England and Ireland.
On 18 November 2020, he scored his first goal for the English selection in a 4-0 win against Iceland in the Nations League. On 1 June 2021 he was called up for the European Championships, an event in which he took the field in every match played by the English national team. In 2022 he participates in the World Cup.
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Declan Rice: Since I've been at Arsenal, I look at football in a different way