Paul Merson has urged his former club Arsenal to go all out for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice in the summer.

The 21-year-old has not missed a single minute of Premier League action for the Hammers this season and is a target for Chelsea too.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Merson said: “Chelsea have been linked with him, but I don’t know why Arsenal aren’t looking at Declan Rice.

“Arsenal are crying out for a holding midfield player. They don’t need a midfielder who’s going to be on the edge of the opposition box, they need a disciplined defensive midfielder, who is going to sit in front of the back four and organize the side; one who, when he gets the ball, gives it simple with 10-yard passes.

“It’s such a hard job and that’s why I can’t believe Arsenal isn’t going in for a player like Rice. A player like Rice can allow the attacking players to flourish and it gives the central defenders the chance to be better than what they are.”

Rice’s current deal at the London Stadium runs until the summer of 2024 and is highly rated at West Ham with the midfielder having captained the side in a series of games despite his age.


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