March 7, 2024

Man Utd owners the Glazers could’ve ruined Mikel Arteta Arsenal dream | Football | Sport

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta might have the Glazers to thank for landing midfield ace Declan Rice in last year’s summer transfer window. Rice has been one of the Premier League’s standout players this season, but had things worked out differently for the Arsenal star, he might’ve been lining up in a Manchester United shirt instead.

That’s because former Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed he tried to convince the United hierarchy to sign Rice back in the summer of 2021. Speaking to the Stick to Football podcast, Solskjaer admitted he wishes United had pushed harder to sign Rice from West Ham United three years ago when the club were on the lookout for a new defensive midfielder.

“I really like him [Rice] as a player,” Solskjaer told the podcast’s panel. “We’ve discussed him a few times and I think we would’ve done well with him in midfield. His legs, covering the pitch, and I think he improved a lot on his playmaking as well. Obviously, he would’ve cost some money, but we could’ve and should’ve gone for him.”

In hindsight, it might’ve been a transfer that would have extended Solskjaer’s time as United boss, given he was shown the door in the winter of 2021. United’s midfield was ravaged in the early part of the 2021/22 season, with the Old Trafford outfit suffering bruising defeats against Liverpool, Manchester City and even Watford.

Would Rice have solved all of United’s problems at that time? Probably not, but it’s evident from the effect the ex-Chelsea youngster has already had at Arsenal that he’s a player who can make a big impact. Not only is Rice a solid holding midfielder who offers protection to a team’s back four, but he also boasts immense attacking qualities, as seen during Arsenal’s September 2023 win over United, when the 24-year-old popped up in the final moments of the game to steal all three points.

This is something Arteta has spoken about in the past, praising Rice’s influence on Arsenal’s important fixtures this season, along with the ex-West Ham skipper’s presence on the pitch: “Especially in big games where I think he has been terrific. That’s what you need from your big players.

“He’s got big qualities that make players around him better and the team better. He’s got this big presence and aura around him and when you play for a big club you need a player in midfield who is able to do that.”


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