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Deal Done: Arsenal Reach Final Agreement for £100m Rated Priority Midfield Target, Medical Scheduled for Friday

Declan Rice, Arsenal

According to latest reports, Arsenal and West Ham United have finally reached an agreement over the transfer of Declan Rice. The payment structure has been finalised between the two clubs and documents are set to be signed with the midfielder’s medical booked for tomorrow.

Arsenal had reportedly prioritized the signing of Declan Rice before entering the 2023 summer transfer window. The Gunners have made previous attempts to sign the England international. However, his importance to the Hammers and their manager David Moyes was a hurdle Mikel Arteta’s side were finding difficult to overcome.

Declan Rice
Image obtained via Evening Standard

The 24-year-old has been the heart of the East London side. He also played a pivotal role for England in the Euro 2020 and the World Cup 2022. His attitude and leadership earned him the captain’s armband at the club, while his fitness coupled with his discipline and committed work ethic meant that he missed only one match in the 2022-23 Premier League season (stats via Transfermarkt).

According to The Guardian, Arsenal have reached final agreement with West Ham for Declan Rice. The midfielder will be joining the Gunners in a deal worth £105m, a guaranteed fee of £100m plus an additional £5m in add-ons. This deal would make him the most expensive Englishman ever bought by a Premier League side.

The transfer was being delayed so far due to disagreement over the payment structure, but the terms of payment have been finally agreed. The North London side wanted to spread the guaranteed portion of the fee over five years, but have been forced to reduce the time span.

The Hammers were demanding for the £100m to be paid within a period of one-and-a-half years which is by the end of 2024. However, they have reached a compromise over the fee structure, with the Gunners agreeing to pay the £100m in three installments spread over 24 months i.e. by the summer of 2025.

The defensive midfielder will undergo his medical with the North Londoners on Friday. He cut short his holiday to complete his record-breaking move to the Emirates stadium after the two clubs agreed upon the fee. The Gunners have been successful in securing Mikel Arteta’s top summer target.

Arsenal do have some depth in the midfield but they lack variety. Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, and Jorginho, all of them are excellent at breaking up the play and spraying passes all over the pitch. On the other hand, while Rice does have very good passing abilities, he is also an excellent ball carrier which was lacking at for Arteta’s side this term.

Arsenal were on top of the table for most of the season but slipped in the final stages allowing City to complete the treble. This is the closest the Gunners have come to winning the Premier league after more than a decade. The club will want to build on this successful campaign to fight in the Champions League next season.

Can Declan Rice Help Arsenal Lift the Premier League Trophy?

Arsenal were short of only 5 points from the eventual Champions Manchester City at the end of the season. The Citizens came in clutch in the final phase of the season where their squad depth got the better of Manager  Chanel manager Mikel Arteta lacked quality options on the bench to consistently keep on winning games towards the end of the campaign. This was also why Arsenal did not progress deep into any of the cup competitions this season.

Declan Rice celebrating for West Ham after the UEFA Europa Conference win, Arsenal, Declan Rice, West Ham
Image Obtained Via BBC

Arteta relied on Martin Odegaard’s creativity and his wingers’ explosiveness to create chances. Very few midfielders at the Emirates are creative and the loss of Emile Smith Rowe to an injury for the long term did not help. The lack of rotation caused the Gunners starting XI to suffer from fatigue and they failed to keep up with Manchester City in the closing stages.

The 24-year-old ranks among the top ten players to cover the most distance in the Premier League this season. He has excellent defensive awareness to stop the opposition attack, while also having the capability to launch a counter. He can do so with his dribbling as he is a very good ball carrier. He is also able to resist press, helping him to keep hold of the ball. This is exactly what Mikel Arteta wants in his midfield.

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Moreover, the Gunners will be playing in the Champions League for the first time after the 2016/17 season. This means not only more games but also more challenging ties for which the key players will have to be available. Arsenal will profit a lot from the longevity of Declan Rice as he will help them get through the congested schedule.

In addition, he has also shown good discipline on the pitch to avoid yellow or red cards. He certainly does have the potential to provide the North London the extra edge and take them to the next level but that depends upon his chemistry with Mikel Arteta.

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