Partey’s Saudi / Juventus Links and a Third Rice Bid?
Having shared my thoughts on the Declan Rice situation a couple of days ago, the chatter still remains that he favors a move to Arsenal ahead of Manchester City. He’s a London boy through and through, just had a kid, so wouldn’t really want to relocate up North and at Arsenal, he will be a regular starter in the Premier League and Champions League, but one road block still exists – an agreement with West Ham over Rice’s transfer fee.
Arsenal’s last offer was worth £90 million, spreading £75 million over four payments and the remaining £15 million based on performance add-ons, but this failed to match West Ham’s valuation for Rice which, if we are to believe the tabloids, is £100 million. Since making his debut for West Ham as an academy graduate in 2016, Rice has garnered 245 appearances for the Hammers, scoring fifteen goals and its astonishing to know that 100 of those 245 apps came in the last two seasons, a testament of his fitness and stamina levels, as he notched up 50 appearances last season and 50 appearances in the recently concluded season.
According to Sky Sports, Arsenal is set to make a third bid for Declan Rice, and one would assume that this will be the final bid for the England midfielder, with Southampton’s Romeo Lavia serving as a backup plan should this Rice pursuit fail to come to fruition. Last season saw the Gunners make a lot of backup contingent transfers after the failed moves for their initial targets – a move for Lisandro Martinez gave way for Oleksandr Zinchenko and a move for Mykhailo Mudryk turned out to be a Leandro Trossard signing. In as much as I’m happy the ‘backup’ signings did very well, I hope we get over the line for Declan Rice as he will be a monumental signing for us. Rice is a generational talent that can play as a No. 6, No. 8 and No. 5, which will allow Mikel Arteta make loads of tactical switches to improve our game at Arsenal.
Rice can potentially play with the club’s defensive lynchpin, Thomas Partey, but there has been a lot of speculation regarding the Ghanaian’s future at Arsenal. Al Nassr, Al Ahli and Al Khaleej are clearly interested in signing Partey for a big-money move, and Arsenal are interested in letting him go. Juventus has also emerged as potential suitors for Partey’s services, and with this much interest, it is very likely that Arsenal may see two-thirds of their core midfield depart this summer with Granit Xhaka already set to leave for Bayer Leverkusen.
Losing Xhaka and Partey in the same window will be a bitter pill to swallow, but I trust Arsenal to replace them adequately. Kai Havertz seems to be the Xhaka replacement while Declan Rice, if the deal works out, would potentially be Partey’s replacement. Smart business if you ask me.
Let’s not forget we still have the backup options of Fabio Vieira for the left No. 8 position, and Jorginho and Mo Elneny for the No. 6 position. As for Albert Sambi Lokonga, I still don’t know where he fits in, as I’d expect him to depart this summer, probably on loan to gain more valuable football in his bid to continue his football education.
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Posted on June 25, 2023, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Declan Rice, Football, Juventus, Premier League, Thomas Partey, West Ham. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.