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Tony Cascarino reacts as Arsenal eye summer move for Declan Rice
Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Tony Cascarino reacts as Arsenal eye summer move for Declan Rice

Tony Cascarino has told The Times that Arsenal could have their next Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva if the Gunners were able to sign Declan Rice and play him alongside Thomas Partey.

Rice’s future is becoming a big talking point in the January transfer window. There is surely absolutely no chance that he leaves West Ham this month. But it would appear that his departure is looking somewhat inevitable in the summer.

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The Times reported this week that Arsenal have made Rice their top target for the end of the season. West Ham meanwhile, are expected to let him go.

Rice could be perfect for Arsenal

The Gunners are growing confident that they will be the ones to win the race for the £80 million England international. But obviously, they are not going to be the only side in the running.

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Rice has established himself as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League. And Cascarino believes that the Gunners would move a step closer to having a fresh Invincibles side with the 24-year-old in their team.

“Rice will cover for the weaknesses of others and provide a platform for team-mates to play their best game. He wins the ball and gets it forward quickly. For a team with such quick and direct attacking talent, having someone who reads moments and intercepts the ball and then immediately supplies a team-mate is critical,” he told The Times.

“I imagine Rice would come in to replace Granit Xhaka, which would give Arsenal depth and increase that solidity and protection in midfield.

“Alongside Partey, that could be the next Patrick Vieira-Gilberto Silva partnership.”

West Ham star can take on almost any midfield role

Rice is ‘magnificent‘ and has shown that he has the versatility to slot in almost anywhere. He came through the ranks at West Ham as a centre-back with the ability to push forward. And shortly after, he became one of the best holding players in the league.

But he has also shown that he has ability to really drive forward and play more of a box-to-box role, too. So it is absolutely no surprise that he is attracting attention from the best sides in the country.

Gilberto Silva himself has compared £45 million star Partey to Vieira in the past. So Rice may perhaps take on the role of the Brazilian in this partnership.

It would be a potential game-changer for Arsenal if they could secure his signature. And it seems that the Gunners are optimistic of striking a deal.

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