Declan Rice makes bold £45m Arsenal claim as Mikel Arteta sent clear striker transfer message

Declan Rice of Arsenal celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and AFC Bournemouth at Emirates Stadium on May 04, 2024
-Credit: (Image: Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Declan Rice has revealed who he thinks is the best player in Arsenal training. The 25-year-old midfielder, who left West Ham to join the Gunners last summer for a record breaking fee, enjoyed a brilliant debut campaign at the Emirates Stadium.

He played a crucial role in the beating heart of Mikel Arteta's side, helping Arsenal mount a bid in the Premier League title race. While they missed out on top spot to Manchester City on the final day of the season, Rice often dragged the north Londoners over the line in difficult matches.

From scoring a stoppage time winner against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road in December to providing the all-important assist in Arsenal's 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur in April, the England international has been worth his weight in gold. While his hard work has certainly paid off, Rice has revealed who's impressed him most at London Colney.

Since joining the Gunners, he's rubbed shoulders with the likes of Bukayo Saka and William Saliba, but Rice believes there are two players who are a cut above the rest. In an interview with Chinese website Iqiyi, he said: "I think it’s either Gabriel Jesus or [Martin] Odegaard.

"One of them two, they are just so good at football. Probably Jesus but Odegaard is there as well, they’re both just so good. The stuff they do with the ball is unbelievable. To see it, it’s so good!"

Odegaard has managed to translate his performances at London Colney to the Emirates Stadium in recent time, playing a key role in Arsenal's midfield. However, the same cannot be said for Jesus, who has struggled to warrant his £45million price tag with just four Premier League goals to his name this season.

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In March, Mika Biereth named Gabriel Martinelli as the best player he's trained with, but claimed Gabriel Magalhaes was one of the toughest to train against. Speaking to the i newspaper, the Arsenal youngster said: "The more you train with the first-team, the more used to it you get and those kinds of training sessions put me in good stead for playing with the 21s and then out on my loans.

"One of the first sessions I was over there I was trying to hold the ball up and big Gabi [Magalhaes] just clattered through the back of me. It felt like a car crash! He is massive and I would have only been 18 at the time.

Biereth added: "Just things like that, the speed and the physicality of it [helped]. It is a simple game but just [learning] how much goes into it and how much detail there is, I learned all of that at Arsenal."

Then, when asked who has impressed him most in Arsenal training, the 21-year-old striker named Martinelli. He said: "He’s just so quick and so sharp with everything that he does."