To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Rio Ferdinand says Declan Rice is privately 'raving' about one Arsenal player who doesn't always get headlines

Rio Ferdinand says Declan Rice is privately 'raving' about one Arsenal player who doesn't always get headlines

Declan Rice has been showering one of his Arsenal teammates with praise to Rio Ferdinand.

Declan Rice is privately raving about one of his Arsenal teammates, according to Rio Ferdinand.

Ferdinand recently linked up with Rice and the England international was showering Gabriel Magalhaes with praise.

The Brazilian has been a vital cog in an Arsenal defence which is the statistically the best in the Premier League.

In 2024, the Gunners have conceded just four goals and a huge part of that is the excellent partnership between Gabriel and William Saliba.

Saliba picked up the Man of the Match award on Sunday for shutting out Erling Haaland and Manchester City in the 0-0 draw at the Etihad.

But Gabriel was also flawless at the heart of the backline. Rice is a huge fan and Ferdinand is also enjoying the improvements made by the 26-year-old.

"When I saw Declan the other day and spoke to him he was waxing lyrical and raving about Gabriel," Ferdinand said on the latest Vibe with Five.

"I criticised him last season and I stand by that and rightly so. But he seems to have learned, he’s matured. He’s one of the most aggressive, but also controlled now and composed centre halves in the league.

"His partnership with Saliba… if he was fit the back end of last season they might have won the league. His importance and stature within the team now is alongside Gabriel."

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

Ferdinand is adamant that the pair have the best defensive partnership in the Premier League, ahead of Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate.

He continued: "I don’t think you can look at one without the other. I think they’re the best partnership.

"Van Dijk and Konate are close but these two work together better."

Earlier this year, former West Ham captain Rice named Gabriel as the player who most surprised him upon his arrival at the Emirates.

"The one who’s really surprised me is actually Gabriel," he said in an interview with TNT Sports.

“He’s so aggressive, so strong, really wants it all the time, never loses a duel.

“When you’ve got two centre-backs like that who want it, play aggressive, it really helps and gives you confidence.”

Arsenal host Luton Town at the Emirates on Wednesday before travelling to Brighton.

Featured Image Credit: Getty & Vibe with Five

Topics: Rio Ferdinand, Declan Rice, Arsenal, Gabriel Magalhaes