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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Declan Rice urges Arsenal fans not to put him under pressure over club-record fee

Declan Rice urges Arsenal fans not to put him under pressure over his £105 million club-record transfer fee.

The former West Ham captain became the most expensive English footballer in history after switching from the London Stadium to the Emirates. 

Rice, 24, made his first start for Arsenal in last Saturday’s 2-0 pre-season loss to Manchester United and struggled as the lone No6.

But the England international isn’t letting the added pressure get to him as he looks to continue his development under Mikel Arteta’s tutelage.

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He told ESPN: “At the end, judge me on the price tag then. Don’t judge me after two or three weeks.

“That’s a price tag that is now attached to me. I just try to play football and enjoy myself.

“I don’t actually think about it. It is crazy to think ‘I’ve been sold for £100m’ but I haven’t thought about it once.

“Five years ago, I’d be dreaming about where I am now. I don’t try to put any added pressure on me.

“Me being myself is what’s got me here. That isn’t going to change now I’m at Arsenal. I’m still going to do things that I’ve done that have got me to Arsenal.”

Rice has reportedly signed a five-year contract with the Gunners, who finished five points behind Premier League champions Manchester City last term.

Watch Declan Rice’s first match for Arsenal below;

Arteta’s side will be battling for both domestic and Champions League glory during the current season, and Rice concedes it will take him time to deliver.

“There is going to be a lot of noise around me, around the transfer, around the price, he continued.

“I’ve come to Arsenal because I want to be a success and I want this club to be a success.

“I’m going to do things that Mikel wants me to do. I think it is important that we are constantly open to learning and wanting to improve.”

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