Declan Rice's arrival at Arsenal sparks title hopes; Can he transform the Gunners into contenders? The midfield puzzle begins.
|Declan Rice has joined Arsenal and one can only wonder if he would take the Gunners one step further than last season. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
It’s officially the biggest homegrown deal in English football, eclipsing the Jack Grealish deal to Manchester City from Aston Villa, and you must wonder what sort of pressure lies on the shoulders of Declan Rice.
Following the announcement on Saturday that West Ham captain Declan Rice would join Arsenal for a fee of £105 million, the fans of Arsenal have started nursing hopes ahead of the new season, and who can stop them from dreaming?
From Lagos, Nigeria, to Accra, Ghana, to Beijing in China, to the corners of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the whole buzzing Middle East, down to America, north and south, and all across the entire universe, it was a day of huge joy for most Arsenal fans.
This begs an important question: does Rice make the Gunners a title contender?
Can he solve the problems that saw them lose the league in the final weeks of last season? Or is he just another luxury player who will come with loads of baggage?
Arsenal unveiled Rice in a live video, and his first statement was to confirm he loves what Arsenal does on and off the pitch and he wants to be a part of a winning team.
Off the back of a European title-winning season, could he be the catalyst for Arsenal’s greatness next season?
Thomas Partey is attracting interest from Saudi Arabia.
Arsenal might be inclined to sell if a bid worth £45m comes in, but the Ghanaian is said to have accepted the terms of Al Ahli; does that mean that Rice will be Partey’s direct replacement?
Where does that leave Granit Xhaka’s replacement?
Kai Havertz joined from Chelsea, and he divided opinions considering the rivalry between both clubs and how underwhelming the German was for the Blues in the last two seasons, but can he adequately play the LCM role?
The manager knows what he wants to do with a player he paid so much for; he was convincing in his interaction with the player, and that played a part in the smooth transition, but how soon will the German settle into life at North London?
Arsenal will no doubt be a huge force with Partey and Rice in the midfield.
But with the former being rumoured to be on his way out, Arsenal does need another midfielder for quality depth ahead of the new season, where they would be expected to not only compete but also go one step further than last season.