Opinion: Arsenal should spend £120m on this elite midfield duo instead of blowing it all on Declan Rice

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Arsenal surely aren’t about to blow £120million on one player, even if that one player is Declan Rice.

That’s how much West Ham are supposedly set to demand for the England international this summer, according to Sky Sports, who also name the Emirates Stadium as his most likely destination, despite interest from other top clubs as well.

While there’s no doubt Rice is a world class talent who could help take Mikel Arteta’s side to another level, it seems very un-Arsenal to invest quite so much in one go, and unless that price tag ends up shifting downwards in the coming weeks or months, the Gunners will surely look elsewhere.

There is no shortage of alternatives on the market right now, with Ben Jacobs recently writing exclusively for CaughtOffside about their interest in Brighton’s Moises Caicedo in that position, with Football Insider stating that he’d be available at almost half the price West Ham want for Rice – £70m.

Declan Rice could be too expensive for Arsenal

Both are top players, and there’s not a lot between them, so Arsenal will surely look at Caicedo as the better value option there, while the Ecuador international has also spoken very highly of the club, suggesting he’d welcome the opportunity to join them again.

Caicedo spoke openly to the Telegraph about Arsenal’s approach for him in January, and made it clear he was a big fan of their project. It will be interesting in the weeks and months ahead to see if Rice tries anything similar, which could be one way to push the Hammers into lowering their demands.

If Arsenal do decide to pay £70m for Caicedo instead, they could then have £50m or so to spare on another midfielder, which could be useful if there ends up being anything more serious to the Mirror‘s report on Granit Xhaka being a target for Bayer Leverkusen.

Moises Caicedo could be a better value signing for Arsenal

Could Mason Mount be the man for AFC? The Guardian have recently reported that the England international, who is approaching the final year of his Chelsea contract, could move for a cut-price fee of just £50m this summer.

Initial talks may have taken place, according to Goal, so it could be that Arsenal end up shaping their midfield around Caicedo and Mount next season, rather than putting all their eggs in one basket in the form of Rice.

Mason Mount could be available for just £50m

At some point, Arsenal probably need to show they can compete with Europe’s elite for £100m-plus transfers, but it’s also fair to say that Arteta has got them to where they are now with smarter recruitment than that, while Liverpool also challenged Manchester City well down the years whilst also never really resorting to such exorbitant signings.

Spending more doesn’t always mean getting the better player, and Arsenal will surely have the Mykhaylo Mudryk saga fresh in the memory, with Leandro Trossard joining them instead for a fraction of the fee Chelsea ended up paying for Mudryk, and looking by far the better signing so far.

More Stories David Moyes Declan Rice Martin Keown Mason Mount Mikel Arteta Moises Caicedo


  1. As a West Ham fan that is quite interesting to read an outside perspective. Obviously we think he is worth every penny and more and see him week in week out bossing the game and having players like Casemiro in his pocket as he did on Sunday and Partey a few weeks ago. My thoughts on the comment on Rice driving down the price are that he is by far the best in that position and with all the interest in him that price will go up and not down. The £120m is a price we said we would deal at, if Arsenal offer that Man utd will go £130m or at least £100m plus McTominey. City may even go £100m plus Philips and then Chelsea with their bank balance £140m and rely on the Chelsea connection for Rice to over look one season of Champions league football all for Newcastle to come in at the end with £150m.

  2. 120M for a Declan Rice? When I am not Bidding for KDB, if he is as bossy as claimed, that shows where the Hammers are on the league table. He is offered opportunity to play at the highest club level, he should better grab the opportunity

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