Declan Rice putting pressure of price tag behind him to pursue biggest prizes
Declan Rice went to the World Cup surrounded by England team-mates who had won the biggest prizes in the game – now he is a £105million player who insists he is not fazed by the price tag having lifted European silverware and instantly taken to Champions League football.
The 24-year-old admitted a year ago in Qatar that he wanted to play at the highest level and left West Ham in the summer after captaining them to Europa Conference League glory.
Rice moved across London to Arsenal, joining the Gunners for a club-record fee and has hit the ground running with a run of fine performances for Mikel Arteta’s side.
While previous big-money signings have seemingly been weighed down by hefty price tags, Rice has flourished in spite of it.
“When the transfer was going through I was very nervous because of the price tag,” he said.
“It’s natural to think about that. You’re a human being bought for £105m, it doesn’t feel very normal. But that was because of what I’d done at West Ham, what they valued me at.
“When I signed for Arsenal, I just thought I just need to be Declan Rice, be myself, don’t be any different, everything will go smoothly.
“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. In terms of the price tag, I don’t really think about it, I just play the games and try to play as well as possible.
“Honestly, I just try to play my football. I don’t let it affect me in any way, shape or form. I just go to training, try to train as well as possible.”
Rice’s England colleague Jack Grealish admitted he found talk of his £100m move to Manchester City “annoying” and that more was expected of