Arsenal icon Liam Brady was full of praise for newly-signed Declan Rice during an appearance on The Stand Podcast with Eamon Dunphy.
He spoke about how he believes Rice is a massive upgrade over the departed Granit Xhaka and that he is far more ‘reliable’ than the Swiss superstar ever was.
He touched upon Rice’s massive price tag, but indicates that he believes he was worth it. Arsenal snapped Rice up from West Ham in the transfer window for a fee of £105 million.
Brady played for Arsenal from 1973 to 1980 as an attacking midfielder – during his stint at the Gunners, he scored 43 goals in 253 games.
What did Liam Brady have to say regarding Declan Rice?
On The Stand Podcast, Brady said: “He cost a lot of money, but he’s a hugely reliable player, he never goes missing. Maybe he falls a bit short in running the game, but his passing last night was good over 30/40 yards he was switching play.
“You say about him not scoring goals, but he started scoring goals towards the end for West Ham, and he nearly scored in the first match at home. I think he’s only going to get better, he’s only young.
“What I’m saying is he’s hugely reliable and much more so than Xhaka who we had in midfield last year. I think he’ll be a massive asset for Odegaard and Partey and the players alongside him.”
How has Declan Rice improved the Arsenal team?
Previously, Arsenal deployed Thomas Partey in the defensive midfield role before Rice’s arrival. While he is excellent defensively, he isn’t the most technically sound player in the world – moreover, he can also be rather slow and static at times.
Rice, on the other hand, does not have these weaknesses. He is dynamic and possesses an excellent range of passing – he’s also brilliant at carrying the ball forward into advantageous areas.
As touched upon by Brady, he has also began to add a goalscoring edge to his game, too. Last season, while playing for West Ham United, he scored four goals and notched up two assists. This may seem like a modest tally, but for a holding player, it’s pretty decent.