Barnes endorses Arsenal’s move for Rice despite hefty fee

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This week saw the summer transfer window open rumours continue to circulate around the future of West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice.  We caught up with former Liverpool winger John Barnes to discuss the future of a player he is a huge fan of.

Rice will bring a defensive stability to Arsenal 

Reports this morning suggest that Arsenal have now submitted their first bid for Declan Rice who is set to leave West Ham this summer. West Ham are said to be holding out for roughly £100m for the England international. However, treble winning Manchester City are also circling and ready to rubber stamp their interest in Rice. Barnes is a huge advocate of Rice and believes he will bring a defensive stability that they have previously lacked.

“Rice will bring strength and solidity to the Arsenal midfield.” 

“He has huge defensive qualities that will be useful to Mikel Arteta.’ 

“He’s not someone that’s going to get forward and get loads of goals but Arsenal at times have been fragile with Thomas Partey and Xhaka.” 

“WIth Partey and Rice, Arsenal can still play their attacking brand of football whilst knowing they have two good defensive midfield players in Rice and Partey to protect the Arsenal centre backs. 

“They will also be safer in transitions.”

Barnes unfazed by huge Declan Rice transfer fee

Huge expectations will be placed upon Rice if his anticipated move away from West Ham comes to fruition. It would be a British transfer record for a British footballer. Last week saw news break that Alexis Mac Allister will cost Liverpool roughly £35m which is £65m cheaper than West Ham’s Rice. Despite the huge disparity in the reported transfer fees, Barnes is far from concerned at how much Rice will end up costing the club he ends up moving to.

“The fee is the fee at the end of the day.” 

“It doesn’t matter if we think the fee is excessive.”

“If that’s what you’ve got to pay to get Rice and you’re willing to pay it then go and get the player.” 

“The fee also doesn’t mean that Rice is three times better than Mac Allister because the fee is three times more either.” 

“The days of overpaying for a player should be over. You pay what you have to pay and get on with it.”

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