Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka has revealed the part he played in one of the transfer sagas of the summer that ended with Declan Rice joining the Gunners from West Ham for £105million
Arsenal superstar Bukayo Saka has shed light on the part he played in persuading Declan Rice to join the Gunners this summer.
When Rice was acquired by Mikel Arteta’s team from West Ham for a club and then-British record amount of £105 million, including add-ons, it was one of the signings of the summer. It was not an easy procedure for Arsenal, who had to deal with talks with the Hammers and fend off interest from the reigning champions Manchester City, as it would be with any transfer worth such a sum.
In fact, Pep Guardiola’s team put in a bid of their own, said to be worth approximately £90 million, but when Arsenal went beyond £100 million, City is thought to have abandoned any potential transaction. While this was undoubtedly wonderful news for the Gunners, it has subsequently come to light that Arteta might have a personal friend to thank for the trade.
As Saka explained to talkSPORT, he had his own conversations with Rice about the transition. “Obviously, he’d ask a few questions and I’d answer them, but yeah, I’d just try to give him the reassurance that he’d be coming to the right club and that the future is exciting for us,” Saka said. He would improve us if he joined, and we would certainly be able to accomplish things.
After scoring the game-winning goal against Manchester United on Sunday in the 96th minute, Rice has already cemented his place in the hearts of the Arsenal crowd. Saka waxed lyrical about his new Gunners teammate and the reception his goal received from the Emirates crowd after his last-ditch heroics.
Saka said, “That was great, I guess I watched his goal back twenty times. “For him and his family, it was a moment they will never forget. Even the stadium, he claimed, was ridiculous given the ambiance.He is correct, though; playing there is truly unique. There isn’t a better time for him to score his first goal, so I’m just glad he’s enjoying himself, playing well, and is delighted about it. I’m happy for him, so yeah.
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Come full-time following the victory over United, Rice was quite the sight, with the England star sporting a smile that could be seen from every seat in the Emirates as the stadium DJ blasted out ‘Ice, Ice Baby’ in jubilation.