Arsenal told they ‘obviously paid way too much’ for new boy who’s ‘surrounded by better players’

Ciaran McCarthy
Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, Arsenal, August 2023
Declan Rice gets replaced by Kai Havertz

Roy Keane has detailed his belief that Arsenal “obviously paid way too much” for Declan Rice, but his levels could rise as he’ll be “surrounded by better players” at the Emirates.

The Gunners are clearly hopeful that this season they’ll be able to go one better than their second-placed Premier League finish last campaign. That they’ve spent north of £200million and are still courting new talents highlights a desire to improve.

The three players they’ve bought so far are: Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and Rice. The latter is the most expensive of that group by a long way.

In fact, the £105million Arsenal paid to secure his services smashed their previous transfer record by £33million (Nicolas Pepe’s £72million transfer).

While Rice is obviously a prodigious talent, Keane feels it’s clear Arsenal overpaid for him.

“They have obviously paid way too much for him. He’s certainly not worth over £100 million!” he said on ITV.

While he thinks the Gunners paid too much, Keane does believe they’ve got themselves a talented asset.

“But a really good player. We will find out over the next year or two how good Declan is. He turns up every week, he is a big strong boy. We have talked about that physicality, they lacked that in the last month or two,” Keane added.

“Has he got that really top quality in terms of seeing a pass and getting nine or 10 goals? We’ll soon find out.”

The pundit also believes Rice’s levels may rise given he’s playing with better players than he was at West Ham, and that could allow him to add another dimension to his game.

“He is obviously going to be surrounded by better players, different demands,” Keane said.

“If he is going to play a little higher up the pitch, I can think he definitely has that quality in terms of getting more goals to him, he’s obviously got that physical strength, he can get in the box.”

The four Premier League goals Rice scored last season were the most of his career. As such, his attacking prowess is already on the rise, and that could well continue following the move at Arsenal, where he could become a more well-rounded midfielder than he already is.

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