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    Declan Rice reveals why he joined Arsenal over rivals

    Declan Rice has revealed just how big a factor Mikel Arteta was in his decision to join Arsenal during the summer, believing that the Gunners boss is capable of getting the best out of him and also considering it the “perfect” club for him as a “London boy”.

    Rice spent six years as a first-team player at West Ham, progressing from the youth ranks after being let go by Chelsea aged 14 to the role of captain. His Hammers career culminated in lifting a European trophy at the end of last season, followed by his £105m transfer to Arsenal.

    The Gunners weren’t the only club interested in the England midfielder, with Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Newcastle United all showing interest, as did Bayern Munich.

    But the vision that was presented to him by Arsenal was one that Rice couldn’t turn down.

    “I looked at the squad, how young everyone was, how good they’ve been for the last two or three seasons, not only last year, and the trajectory they’re currently on,” he told FourFourTwo.

    Martin Odegaard, Declan Rice

    Declan Rice saw Arsenal as a project on the right trajectory / Christopher Lee/GettyImages

    “I saw myself fitting in, slotting in nicely, and the manager had a huge say in winning me over. It was the perfect fit, being a London boy and getting to play for Arsenal – I think it was the perfect move for me at this stage of my career,” he added.

    “I know there’s so many more levels to reach and feel like Mikel is the best manager to take me there. I learned so much over my time under David Moyes and he improved me as a player.

    “Now I can add a new dimension to my game – things I possibly hadn’t worked on before, weaknesses I had, and Mikel can bring the best out of me. That’s why I decided to join Arsenal.”

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