Tuesday, July 18, 2023

BREAKING: Mikel Arteta responds to Declan Rice injury fears after £105m Arsenal transfer

Mikel Arteta has calmed the nerves of Arsenal fans amid fears that new signing Declan Rice had picked up an injury during the pre-season tour of America.

The Gunners will take on the MLS All-Stars at 1:20am UK time on Thursday morning, with publicity around the clash invariably raised by the potential debut of Rice. The 24-year-old completed his move from West Ham on Saturday, for a British transfer record fee of £105million.

It meant that manager Arteta got his wish, having been keen to get the deal done in time for Rice to board the plane to the US. But footage on Monday of him training alone on a bike sparked fears he may have picked up a knock within his first couple of sessions.

But speaking at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, Arteta allayed any fears over the fitness of his new player – who had been involved with his team-mates earlier in the day. And he assured fans the club were simply managing his workload following a draining week, with Rice penning an emotional statement to Hammers fans after the club confirmed his departure.

“We just want to manage him, a lot has happened to him in the last five or six days,” said Arteta. “He had a very hectic schedule. He’s had a few training sessions which were really good.

“But prior to that, he didn’t do a lot before he joined us so we wanted to just manage him. He trained today with us, he was in good form, and yeah, he’s fine.”

Arteta also talked up the growth of the MLS, lauding the recent arrival of Lionel Messi who has signed for Inter Miami: “The way the league has developed over the last 20 years is phenomenal,” he added. “Bringing in top talent – and the best ever football talent on this planet – it’s a very clever move and it’s huge for everyone.”

But following a low key 1-1 draw against FC Nurnberg in Germany last week, the Spaniard will be determined for his side to put on a good show at at the Audi Field in Washington, with the opposition managed by former Manchester United icon Wayne Rooney.

And it’s United who Arsenal will then take on in New York on Saturday, before finishing their tour next week against Barcelona. As well as Rice making his bow, fans will also have the chance to see former Ajax defender Jurrien Timber in Arsenal colours for the first time, following the completion of his £38.3 million move last Friday.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Back To Top