The Gunners’ announcement comes after the 24-year-old issued an open letter to Hammers fans detailing how “tough” his decision to leave the club has been.

Rice has signed a five-year contract with Arsenal with an option for a further year.

“I’ve seen Arsenal and their growth over the last few seasons,” he said.

“We finished fifth the season before that, not last season, but you could see Mikel’s style of play.”

“Last season was a great season, beating almost every team except Manchester City.”

‘Rice could be Arsenal’s Vieira but now the pressure is on the Gunners.
Rice made the move after winning the European Conference League title as captain of West Ham last season. It’s Arsenal’s third major deal of the summer and the team are looking to surpass last season’s second-place finish in the Premier League.

His arrival follows the £65million signing of German defender Kai Havertz from Chelsea and the signing of Dutch defender Julian Timber from Ajax for a potential fee of £38.5million.

“He’s a phenomenal player who has been at the top of the Premier League and England for several seasons,” said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.

“Declan is an exceptional talent who definitely brings quality to the club and has the potential to be very successful here.”

“Declan is only 24 years old and has a lot of experience in the Premier League. He captained a very good West Ham team and, as we all saw, recently won the European Cup.

“The responsibilities and roles he has taken on have been very impressive and we are delighted to have him join us.”

After two previous West Ham offers of less than £100 million were rejected, Arsenal have made a successful third bid for Rice.

Premier League champions Manchester City have scrapped the deal for the player after a £90million offer was rejected.

Rice’s participation fee is equivalent to the £100million paid to Jack Grealish by Aston Villa City in 2021.

The Premier League transfer fee record is £105.6m, which Chelsea paid Benfica for Enzo Fernandes in January 2023. Jude Bellingham joined Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund earlier this summer for £88.5million. His signing fee could rise to £115m including surcharges.

Arteta Influence Key in Rice

Rice joined the club at the age of 14 after graduating from Chelsea’s academy and scored 15 goals in 245 appearances for West Ham.

He signed his first professional contract with the Hammers in December 2015, making his debut as a substitute against Burnley on the final day of the 2016/17 Premier League season. He made his full debut in the starting line-up against Southampton in August.

After Mark Noble’s retirement in 2022, Rice became the club’s captain, ending a 43-year wait for a major trophy as West Ham secured a spot in the European Conference League in their final season at the London Stadium. was named player of the season.

He has 41 caps for England and made all five appearances for England at last year’s World Cup.

“Football has incredible opportunities. “A big club like Arsenal chose me and it’s really hard to say no,” Rice said.

“You only have one career. I truly believe in what Mikel is building here and with the team. I am really looking forward to the future with Arsenal.”

“As a player, I came here really hungry to have more success and have the best years at this great club.”

He added:
“(Arteta) is a big reason why I came here.

“I know he brings out the best in me. I know I still have a lot to improve in my game and I feel like he’s the kind of manager who can take me to the next level.

“I am very happy to work with him.”

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Arsenal stand out – analysis

The numbers are staggering, and when transfer fees reach nine figures, they’re always controversial.

English talent is still said to be highly desirable, especially in the league context. English players will probably be taxed. If a comparable foreign player were to join us, it would probably be an £80m move.

Declan Rice has a homegrown player who understands the Premier League and the nature of the game and is now a seasoned England international. I think the English player tax was developed in-house. And, of course, Arsenal are back in the top six and West Ham hope to make some extra cash from there.

They also stand apart from Arsenal in terms of their ambition and recent progress. They have grown into full-fledged players, have some money in the bank, and are happy to deposit it with the right players now.

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