Declan Rice's post-match interview against Arsenal has re-emerged, he’s a big fan of Mikel Arteta's football
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Declan Rice’s post-match interview after West Ham’s 3-1 Premier League defeat to Arsenal last season has re-emerged.
The England midfielder is on the cusp of moving to Arsenal after the Gunners reached a £105million agreement with West Ham for the player.
While the structure of the deal is yet to be finalised, Rice is now free to discuss personal terms with the north London club.
The Gunners’ offer, which breaks down as a £100million initial fee plus £5million in performance-related add-ons, smashes Arsenal's transfer record - the £72million they paid Lille for Nicolas Pepe in 2019.
While there was interest from treble winners Manchester City, it has been widely reported that Rice always preferred a move to Mikel Arteta’s side.
Indeed, the respect the 24-year-old has for the north London club is evident in his post-match interview after Arsenal beat the Hammers 3-1 on Boxing Day last season.
Rice’s post-match interview
Said Benrahma’s penalty gave West Ham a half-time lead at the Emirates Stadium last term, only for Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah to net in the second half and extend Arsenal’s advantage at the summit.
And in his post-match interview, a dejected Rice was full of praise for Arsenal, insisting that they could go toe-to-toe with City for the Premier League title.
Speaking to Amazon Prime, Rice said: “It’s a tough one because in the first half, even though we didn’t have much of the ball, we defended really well, stopped them really well, had a plan, and obviously went 1-0 up.
“But you can’t sustain that for 90 minutes, especially against a team like Arsenal. It’s the same when you play a team like Man City. In the end, one of their chances will [lead] to something, and their free-flowing football managed to get through.”
Rice added: “We couldn’t get up the pitch. They smothered us all over the pitch.”
When asked if he saw Arsenal as a potential title winner, the midfielder added: “100 per cent. I think they’re a top team, you can see they’re coached incredibly well.
“They have a lot of attacking talent, a young squad, they could go the whole way for sure. They’re a good team but, like I said, first half we tried as hard as we could to stop them but it’s really hard.
“In the end, we came up short and it’s frustrating.”