Declan Rice the Versatile Midfield Mastery: The Arsenal Revelation


Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Sevilla in the Champions League recently not only thrilled fans but also caught the eye of football legend Thierry Henry. However, it wasn’t the goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus that intrigued Henry the most; it was Declan Rice’s performance that left the Frenchman in awe. Declan Rice, known for his role as a defensive midfielder, was deployed by Mikel Arteta in a somewhat unconventional position.

He played as a left-sided number eight, while Jorginho took the reins in the defensive midfield. The result? A fascinating demonstration of Rice’s versatility, tactical intelligence, and multifaceted abilities.

Henry, currently France’s U21s boss, provided insightful analysis. He noticed that Rice’s role was indeed “weird”, term he used to describe the midfielder’s dual responsibilities during the match.

The unconventional role of Declan Rice

What made Rice’s performance stand out was his ability to seamlessly transition between two entirely different roles.

In the build-up, Rice operated deep within his own half, orchestrating Arsenal’s play from a more withdrawn position. However, when Arsenal lost possession, he transformed into a relentless presser, leading the charge to unsettle Sevilla.

This dynamic approach, as Henry pointed out, contributed to Arsenal’s offensive balance. As Ben White ventured forward, players like Bukayo Saka held their positions, ensuring the team’s structure remained intact. Sevilla struggled to cope with this tactical variation, illustrating the effectiveness of Rice’s role.

Jamie Carragher also chimed in, emphasizing that Rice, irrespective of his name or reputation, was essentially the most advanced player in terms of pressing and the deepest in terms of building play.

This unique combination of skills makes Rice a complete midfield package.

Rice’s adaptability and intelligence on the field were on full display. Playing such a dynamic role, especially in a game with numerous turnovers, is no small feat.

The ease with which he shifted between roles highlights his footballing acumen and versatility. It’s a testament to why Arsenal invested heavily to secure his services from West Ham in the summer transfer window. Hiss performance against Sevilla demonstrated his ability to excel in various midfield roles.

His multifaceted skill set offers a valuable asset for Arsenal. Whether as a defensive lynchpin or an attacking instigator, Rice’s ability to adapt and contribute to both phases of the game showcases his evolution into a complete midfield maestro.

As Arsenal continues its quest for success in domestic and European competitions, Declan Rice’s versatility will undoubtedly be a key asset, helping the Gunners maintain both offensive and defensive stability in their pursuit of silverware

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