Mikel Arteta has led Arsenal to the top of the Premier League table after a series of scintillating displays this season, and this form could benefit them in more ways than one, especially when it comes to dealings in the transfer market.
Any potential move for the 23-year-old will likely cost Arsenal £70m, with West Ham looking to cash in on Rice for a bumper fee.
Arteta would give the club a major boost if they were to pip the likes of Chelsea to his signing as he could add that extra bite to the Gunners’ engine room and improve their midfield options.
Rice’s performances over the last couple of seasons have led Gary Lineker to dub him as “magnificent” while he is also statistically similar to Real Madrid sensation Aurelien Tchouameni, therefore he could be an excellent addition at the Emirates.
According to FBref, the French midfielder is the sixth-most similar player to Rice across Europe’s top leagues, and considering just how wonderful a player Tchouameni is turning out to be following his move to La Liga, it isn’t a bad comparison to have.
This season has seen the two midfielders register similar statistics with regard to goal contributions (both two), pass success rate (92.4% to 89.2%), goal-creating actions (six to three), and tackles won (18 to 16).
Both Rice and Tchouameni excel at passing and ball interception according to WhoScored, therefore they are both excellent in the middle of the pitch and are adept at winning the ball back while circulating the ball on a consistent basis.
For a fee of £70m, sporting director Edu Gaspar should seriously consider trying to convince Rice to make the short move across London and join Arsenal.
Arteta is obviously building a side that is capable of dominating for the near future, with Rice only 23, he could be the focal point over the next few seasons, and with the player unlikely to win anything while at West Ham, the lure of glory could be difficult to turn down.