declan rice

Arsenal are the best fit for Declan Rice??

Arsenal are the best fit for Declan Rice – but certain trophies with Man City may be enough to swing the Premier League’s biggest summer transfer saga

Declan Rice knows a thing or two about difficult decisions. On February 13, 2019, after nearly a full year of deliberation, he declared for England – despite having represented Ireland at international level for the previous three years. Rice had even been capped three times by the senior side – but, crucially, not once in a competitive fixture.

The backlash was bitter and Rice himself admitted that he could understand the fury of the Irish fans. However, despite talk of “pride” in the jersey and “mixed nationality”, he tellingly admitted that he ultimately decided to do what he considered “best for my future”.

And if we remove loyalty and integrity from the equation, given they are archaic concepts in modern football anyway, everyone would agree that Rice chose wisely. He has benefited enormously in the intervening four years, both from a sporting and financial perspective.

Rice played in a World Cup last year – Ireland haven’t even reached the finals since 2002 – while becoming an England international has also undoubtedly made him a more attractive proposition to sponsors.

One can be sure, then, that Rice will apply the same sense of ruthless rationality to the toughest decision he has had to make since changing his international allegiances. Of course, this time around, Rice has far more options available to him. Having established himself as one of the best players in England, he has the pick of the Premier League’s clubs vying for his signature this summer.

When the window opened, it appeared as if Rice was almost certain to join last season’s runners-up, with Arsenal getting their first bid in nice and early. However, their opening offer was promptly rejected, as was their second, leading to reports that West Ham were more than a little upset with the Gunners for undervaluing their most prized possession.

Arsenal punished for trying to haggle?

A third bid is imminent, but one wonders if Arsenal shouldn’t have gone all-in right away, given it has been clear for some time that their fellow Londoners weren’t going to accept anything less than £100 million ($128m) for one of the most sought-after midfielders on the market.

For that very reason, it was in the Gunners’ interest to wrap this deal up as quickly as possible, given the longer this dragged on, there more likely it was that rivals for Rice’s signature would emerge. And that’s exactly what’s happened.

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