Former Premier League goalkeeper Shaka Hislop has commented on the future of West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice.
Hislop, who played for the Hammers, as well as for clubs like Newcastle and Portsmouth, believes Rice could be a good fit for Arsenal as an upgrade on the unreliable Granit Xhaka.
Hislop exclusively told Ladbrokes Fanzone that he felt Xhaka had let Arsenal down on a few occasions, and that he could see Rice being ideal to come in and play that role in Mikel Arteta’s side.
There’s no doubt the England international is a superb talent who could improve a lot of top teams, with Hislop also acknowledging that he could be of interest to the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool, though he suggested he wouldn’t get into the Newcastle team due to the presence of Bruno Guimaraes.
Declan Rice in action for West Ham
“I just wonder if it’s time for Declan Rice to move on,” the pundit said. “I think that his value has taken a hit as a result of a disappointing season, but the same can be said across the board in that squad. Last year, David Moyes was talking about Rice being a £150m player… I’m not sure who believed that, or who would spend that kind of money on a defensive midfielder. But I think that price has regressed somewhat this season, to maybe around the £80m mark… I think that would be a fair market value for him. When he looks at the highs of the last couple of seasons, compared to the disappointment of this one, I’m sure he feels that now is as good a time as ever to move to a club who’ll be seriously competing for honours.
“You look at where Declan Rice could go this summer; you know, if you were to pick him out of this West Ham team right now and place him elsewhere… where does he fit best? Arsenal is a clear option. Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka hold those positions right now, and the latter, while he’s been good this season, I think at times he’s cost Arsenal – particularly against Liverpool a few weeks back. Maybe it’s time to move away from Xhaka, in which case Rice is a good fit.
“Then you’ve got Manchester United, but given where they are right now, and the impact the phenomenal Casemiro has had on that team, alongside Christian Eriksen, I’m not sure he fits there. Declan Rice is unquestionably an upgrade on Fred, though, so does that mean he could go in and play alongside Casemiro and Erik ten Hag can push Eriksen a little further up? It’s an option. I also think Liverpool’s midfield needs an overhaul, so that could be a very possible option.
“You think of the kind of clubs who’d spend that sort of money on a defensive midfielder, and the only other one that springs to mind is Newcastle. But I don’t see Declan Rice getting into that side ahead of Bruno Guimaraes or Joelinton, so it wouldn’t be a fit for me.”
Arsenal fans will certainly hope Rice can come in and give them a team that can close the gap on Manchester City next season.
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