Declan Rice empathises with Jack Grealish as Arsenal ace opens up on ‘very nervous’ West Ham United exit
Declan Rice has opened up on his summer transfer window move from West Ham United to London rivals Arsenal.
The England midfielder made the switch from East London to North London for a fee of £105million, as per Sky Sports (17 July).
The 24-year-old has empathised with Jack Grealish, who moved from Aston Villa to Manchester City for £100million in 2021 [BBC Sport, 15 August 2021].
“When the transfer was going through I was very nervous because of the price tag,” Rice told the Telegraph (19 November).
“The first three weeks of pre-season were really tough in terms of the change. When you’re at a new job you start to feel really settled after a few weeks. That really feels the case now.
“I can see why Jack struggled maybe at the start — mentally. He was a £100m footballer but as he wasn’t playing as much, it was probably a bit different for him. Now he’s flying and it’s the same for me.”
It was always going to take a huge amount of money for Rice to be moved on by West Ham, with a huge battle taking place in the summer transfer window for the midfielder.
Several top European clubs were seemingly interested in his services, with North London giants Arsenal winning the race. And Rice has settled into life at the club effortlessly, with the player shining in midfield under manager Mikel Arteta.
It has taken him no time at all to take to his new surroundings, but the Hammers have also moved on quickly, bringing in several players to help get over the loss of Rice.
James Ward-Prowse and Edson Alvarez were brought in from Southampton and Ajax respectively to help fill the gap, and they are both having fine seasons in claret and blue so far.
The Hammers were the happier of the two clubs in their recent meeting, with David Moyes’s side defeating the Gunners 3-1 in the League Cup round of 16 earlier this month.