Lineker and Richards praise Declan Rice after his recent Euro game

Arsenal

England took on Serbia for their Euro 2024 opener. The three lions grabbed all three points in an narrow 1-0 victory over Serbia. England didn’t look at their best and had to settle on the only goal scored early in the first half. However there were some players who looked very impressive. One of them was Arsenal star Declan Rice who had a very good performance in England’s Euro opener.

Declan Rice impressing in Euro opener

England were able to grab all three points due to a narrow 1-0 victory. It was in 13th minute when Real Madrid star who is having the season of his life headed the ball in the back of the net. Bukayo Saka’s cross deflected before reaching Jude Bellingham who surely wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to score. Bellingham played as an attacking midfielder and was partnered with Declan Rice and Trent Alexander Arnold in midfield.

Declan Rice who had an amazing season in the Premier League didn’t disappoint either. The 25 year old midfielder started as number eight just like he did in the last few weeks of 2023/24 season. Alexander Arnold was playing as a deep playmaker which gave Rice to explore forward and occasionally help England in attack.

Rice played the whole match and achieved some worthy stats. He was able to achieve 90 touches. Rice completed 77 of the 81 passes attempted along with 1 key pass and 2 long balls. He was equally effective defensively winning 3 ground duels. Rice also was able to clear the ball one time along with making 2 interceptions and 2 tackles. Watching this awesome Rice performance in Euro opener, Gary Lineker and Micah Richards praised the Arsenal man.

Lineker and Richards praising Rice

In The Rest Is Football podcast, Gary Lineker and Micah Richards took time to reflect on Rice’s performance. Both pundits were really impressed with what Arsenal man was able to achieve in the game against Serbia.

Micah Richards said that Rice played really well. Former City star continued to say that Rice was very measured in the way he performed.

Lineker also had the same view and said that Rice is able to do so well because he played at the same number eight position for Arsenal in the last few weeks of the past season. Lineker also added that Rice is able to protect the back four really well.

Rice to be Arsenal’s permanent number eight

It has been reported that Mikel Arteta is set to hold talks with Rice about his preferred position for the next season. Arteta signed Rice as a holding midfielder last year for £105 million from West Ham United. Rice is hughley versatile and is able to play both as eight and six. We have seen him able to perform well on both positions. Rice showed it again on England’s first Euro clash and we may see him doing again for Arsenal next season.

It is no surprise that Arteta has transformed Declan Rice into an absolute unit. The 25 year old midfielder is able to control the tempo playing as both number eight and number six. His versatility is a huge advantage for Gunners. However, the club needs to define him on paper. Before going into the market, Arteta wants to confirm Rice’s position next season. If Rice plays as eight the club will go after a six and vice versa in the upcoming transfer market. The current performances of English international may give us a hint that Arteta may use him as box-to-box number eight and may go after a quality defensive midfielder. The Spanish manager may also monitor Rice’s performances very closely in upcoming England matches.

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