Roy Keane, the former Manchester United legend, has expressed his opinion on Arsenal’s signing of Declan Rice. Keane believes that Arsenal paid an excessive amount, £105 million, for the West Ham star. Rice, who recently won the Europa Conference League with West Ham and is a regular starter for England, made a deserved move to Arsenal, a title-chasing club.
Ahead of Arsenal’s Community Shield clash with Manchester City, Keane praised Rice but also highlighted the challenge he faces in living up to his hefty price tag. Keane acknowledged Rice’s qualities, such as his physical strength and goal-scoring ability, but still believes that Arsenal overpaid for him. However, Keane also acknowledged that only time will tell how good Rice truly is and whether he can deliver on the pitch.
In addition to discussing Rice’s transfer, Keane also mentioned Arsenal’s need for physicality, which they lacked in the previous season. He questioned whether Rice possesses the top-quality vision and goal-scoring ability that Arsenal requires.
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Arsenal have been strongly linked with a move for former academy graduate Declan Rice for the past month, with reports claiming the West Ham ace could cost up to £105million.
Roy Keane, the former Manchester United captain and current assistant manager at Nottingham Forest, believes the Gunners would be ‘overpaying’ for a player who has not yet established themselves in the game.
Keane told Sky Sports: “I just think for all these young players coming up there’s huge expectation. I don’t think you can pay big money and expect good players. Declan Rice is a good player. They’ve got him on a good contract at West Ham, whether he double his money or whatever.
“I think Arsenal overpaid when they paid £105m for [Nicolas] Pepe, so they’d be overpaying again to get Declan Rice. You cannot keep doing that. I think he’s improved, is a decent player and West Ham don’t want to lose him.”
Rice is a player high in demand across Europe, with Manchester United, Chelsea and even Real Madrid reportedly in the hunt. The 21-year-old is seen as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho at Manchester City too, further increasing speculation that Rice is set for a big-money move away from the London Stadium in the summer.
Former United and Ireland captain Keane’s comments appear to support the notion that Rice’s price tag will be exorbitant. It remains to be seen if Arsenal will be willing to pay what is needed to bring Rice back to the Emirates, but it seems that the cost of such a move would be too much for Keane’s liking.