Declan Rice explains why he rejected the chance to link up with Rodri at Man City

Declan Rice has revealed why he chose to join Arsenal, rather than take the chance to line up alongside Rodri at Manchester City.

Ahead of his move to Arsenal, Rice spent many lucrative years just around the corner with fellow Londoners West Ham. He excelled through their youth system, before being handed a deserved chance in the first team.

So, when Rice looked set to depart his boyhood club, many big clubs made their interest known. Rice ended up moving to Arsenal to join Mikel Arteta’s squad and subsequently feature in the Gunners’ title chasing campaign.

City were another team that voiced their interest in Rice, but had a £90m bid rejected by West Ham before his switch to the Emirates.

In an interview with The Athletic, Arsenal’s midfielder was asked to detail his reasons behind the Arsenal move.

He said: “This project seemed more exciting and that’s why I chose to come to Arsenal, because I believe we’re on to big things here.”

Declan Rice, RodriDeclan Rice, Rodri

Rice could’ve linked up with Rodri / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Rice also addressed the missed opportunity to play alongside Rodri in midfield, but praised the Spanish international as one of the “world’s best”.

He continued: “We’re different players, I feel. With Rodri, he was born in Spain, he’s always been a natural No 6. You can just tell by the way he plays that he’s worked under Pep [Guardiola] for so long.

“He’s a lot more structured than I am. I’d say I’m a lot more off-the-cuff. Obviously, this season I’ve been more structured. But in terms of the way I play, I feel like I’m being free a little bit more.

“There are different things that we complement each other on – but no doubt, he’s the best in the world.”

Rice’s Arsenal move has proved fruitful in his debut season at the Emirates, making 48 appearances across all competitions and earning six goals.

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