How Arsenal could line up if they beat Chelsea to ambitious £80m transfer target

Arsenal are reportedly eyeing up a move for the West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice at the end of the season.

The Gunners are looking to bring in midfield reinforcements at the end of the season and the 24-year-old Premier League midfielder has been identified as a potential target.

According to reports we covered earlier, the Gunners are confident of beating Premier League rivals Chelsea to the signing.

Declan Rice has been linked with the return to his boyhood club in recent months and it remains to be seen whether the Gunners can fend off the competition from the Blues.

Mikel Arteta has been overly reliant on Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka as his first-choice midfielders this season and the likes of Mohamed Elneny and Albert Lokonga have been largely underwhelming. The Arsenal manager needs to bring in upgrades in the coming months if he wants his side to compete for the major trophies.

Partey is the only specialist defensive midfielder at the club right now and Rice would be a superb alternative.

The 24-year-old England international has developed into one of the most promising midfielders in the Premier League and he could be the ideal partner for Thomas Partey at the heart of Arteta’s midfield next season.

Granit Xhaka has shown that he can excel in an advanced role and the arrival of the West Ham midfielder will allow the Swiss international to operate with more freedom next season.

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Apart from adding more quality and depth through the side, the signing of Rice will add some much-needed tactical flexibility to the Arsenal midfield as well. The Gunners have had to play with a midfield pivot for most of the season and Rice would allow them to switch to a midfield three or operate in a 4-4-2 depending upon the opposition. Partey and Rice have the defensive discipline to operate in a 4-4-2.

Furthermore, the 24-year-old is still quite young and he is far from…


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