Rice said that it will be ‘brilliant to go back there and see everyone’ and says that he is looking forward to being ‘able to say goodbye properly’.
He also spoke on his respect for West Ham manager David Moyes, saying that the Scot was ‘so good to me’ – he wants to maintain a ‘positive relationship’ with his former coach.
What did Declan Rice say regarding his return to the London Stadium?
Speaking to FourFourTwo, Rice said: “It’ll be pretty strange when I play against West Ham this season, because there are so many lads I know and get on with – they’ll be saying stuff on the pitch, I’m sure!
“We’ve got them at the Emirates Stadium first, then at the London Stadium later in the season. It’ll be brilliant to go back there and see everyone.
“Some of the [West Ham] players messaged me as well – I had plenty of replies in the group chat we shared together, I was taken aback. They’re all such close friends of mine and I speak to them regularly. I texted the manager ahead of the first game this season, simply to say, ‘Good luck for the season and see you soon’. He replied, which was nice.
“I want to keep a positive relationship with him [David Moyes] because he was so good to me, and the supporters were, too – they’re special.
“I know it’s hard when you see a player move on to another club, but I’m sure they understand – hopefully when I see them again, I’ll be able to say goodbye properly.”
When will Arsenal take on West Ham United this season?
Arsenal will square off with West Ham a minimum of three times this season – once in the EFL Cup in November, then twice in the Premier League on Boxing Day and on February 24.
Two of the games will take place at the London Stadium – namely, the League Cup tie and the game on February 24 – meanwhile, the clash between the two sides on Boxing Day will take place at the Emirates Stadium.