Paul Merson asked Mikel Arteta to take a step for West Ham Star Declan Rice in the summer transfer window when he thinks Arsenal is “screaming” for a defensive midfielder.
Reis is considered one of the best young midfielders in the world Premier League After three outstanding campaigns with West Ham and his achievements, he became the target of the country’s elite clubs.
Both Manchester United and Manchester City have had strong ties to Rice in the past and more recently Reports Chelsea is interested in the 21-year-old, Frank Lampard is looking for a low-lying midfielder.
However, Merson believes Arsenal desperately needs a player like Rice and has urged his former club to compete with the London rivals for the England international.
“Arsenal is screaming for a midfielder.” You don’t need a midfielder on the edge of the opposing field, you need a disciplined defensive midfielder who sits in front of the back four and organizes the team. One who, when he gets the ball, just gives it with 10 yard passes.
“When you look back on people like Roy Keane and Claude Makelele later in his career, they were the best because they never got involved. You just did the simple things.
“It’s so difficult to play in a soccer game with five or ten meter passes.” Before you know it, your mind tells you to get involved and play 60-yard passes. You want to be there and spray the ball across the field, but here the big defensive midfielders get it easy and keep it that simple.
“People often say Makelele never met, but that wasn’t his job.” It wasn’t Keane’s job either. Their job was to protect the four and – I won’t say give the ball to better players because I disagree, they were as talented players as the future ones – but their job was such an art.
Merson added, “It’s such a tough job, so I can’t believe Arsenal isn’t playing for a player like Rice.”
“A player like Rice can allow attacking players to develop, and it gives center-backs a chance to be better than they are. I don’t care who you are in football, Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta and even a Virgil van Dijk. If people approach you on the left, right and in the middle every minute, they will pass you occasionally.
“This is where good protection from the bottom four comes into play, and every team needs it.” There are not too many world-class central defenders in the world, which is why the defensive midfield position is all the more important.
“For me, a good midfielder is invaluable. Arsenal have had no disciplined defensive midfielder since Gilberto Silva. Everyone is talking about the club never really replacing Patrick Vieira, and of course, but they never replaced Gilberto either.
“There are players in the current team who are supposed to do this job, but they don’t have the discipline to do it and that needs to be addressed.”
Rice recently signed a new long-term contract at the London stadium that puts West Ham in a strong position ahead of the summer transfer window. The team from East London awaits the interest of the best English clubs.
The Hammers are expected to charge £ 75m for Rice if they avoid avoiding relegation from the top English league.
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