Declan Rice's brilliant Arsenal transfer story and how Mikel Arteta made him feel like 'Will from Inbetweeners'
| Last updated
Declan Rice became the most expensive British player of all time when he made the switch over the summer from West Ham United to Arsenal.
The Gunners parted company with £105 million to bring the England international to the Emirates Stadium and in the process, Rice took over the tag from Jack Grealish following his £100 million move to Manchester City from Aston Villa in 2021.
The 24-year-old came through the youth team ranks at the Hammers and left the club on a high after nearly 250 appearances by lifting the Europa Conference League trophy after West Ham beat Fiorentina in the final.
Rice has slotted straight into the Arsenal team in the holding midfield role, and has five appearances and a goal to his name in the early stages of his Gunners career.
The England international was always likely to be on the move this summer, after his deal at West Ham was due to expire next summer.
Man City had bid for the midfielder's services, but ultimately it was Mikel Arteta's Arsenal who won the race for his signature and he signed a five-year deal with the option of a further 12 months.
As with any transfer move, it can sometimes be a bit nerve-wracking for a player to switch clubs and get settled in, but Rice revealed how Arsenal boss Arteta helped to break the ice.
Those of us fortunate enough to have grown up around the mid-2000s will of course remember the legendary Channel 4 show, The Inbetweeners, in which four teenage boys make their way through high school.
It spawned three series and two movies and some unforgettable moments and phrases which still live on to this day.
In case you've somehow not seen the show, on the first episode, Will is sent off to his new school and is forced to wear a badge saying his name and that he's new in the hope that it'll make people be friendly to him.
That does not really happen, unfortunately, but he does eventually make friends with three others called Simon, Jay and Neil.
What a late-noughties sitcom has to do with Rice's transfer to the Gunners is that Arsenal boss Arteta placed a badge not unlike Will's one in The Inbetweeners on the midfielder on his first full day at the club.
And the midfielder has revealed the hilarious response it drew from the club's younger players.
He said: "My first time I was there, on the Sunday, the lads weren't in and I came out of the physio room and Arteta has little things he does.
"He put a sticker on me saying 'hello, I'm the new person!'. He walked in and he just put it on my chest.
"I've got to wear as the gaffer has put it on me! The 18s and 21s are up in the canteen and I'm like Will off the Inbetweeners, I'm the new boy, I'm walking through like that!"