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Declan Rice hails rival midfielder as the best in the Premier League

Declan Rice has named Manchester City star Rodri as the Premier League’s current best midfielder.

Rice became the most expensive British player of all time when he joined Arsenal for £105m earlier this summer, with the 24-year-old one of a number of high-profile midfielders splashed out on by
Premier League clubs.

Chelsea have broken their own British transfer record twice over the last 12 months to sign Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo, while the likes of Romeo Lavia, Matheus Nunes and Dominik Szoboszlai have also been signed for huge fees in recent times.

But despite the cash being splashed, Rice revealed to Channel 4 ahead of England’s international friendly with old foes Scotland that one player remains head and shoulders above the rest: “Obviously the main one in the Premier League is Rodri, he’s incredible,” he said.

“What a player he is, the way he works, the way he keeps that Man City team ticking, you know he’s a top player.”

Rodri was recently nominated for the Ballon d’Or following an astonishing 2022/23 campaign with City. The Spaniard scored the winning goal in the UEFA Champions League final to secure not only the club’s first ever European Cup, but also a historic treble after success in the Premier League and FA Cup.

There was even talk that Rice could join Rodri at the Etihad Stadium, with a £90m offer turned down by West Ham United, and he eventually joined Arsenal – a decision he said was down to the influence of Mikel Arteta.

“I think from the moment that I met him I knew he was the one that I wanted to take care of the next part of my career. Just the way he spoke, his aura, the way he sees the game, the way he wants to play football,” Rice continued.

“I think you’ve seen Arsenal, the last two years the way they have played as a team, I could really see myself fitting in and so far that decision has paid off. I feel really at home, I always had that gut feeling that Arsenal would be the club from the moment I walked in up until now.”


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