Some fans will be upset with Rice following Sky Sports reporter’s new Arsenal move claim.
West Ham fans have long known that captain Declan Rice would be leaving this summer and Arsenal finally look set to complete the deal after months of speculation.
The Gunners will pay a British record £105m for the Hammers captain in a move that many West Ham fans find hard to stomach.
While there is no great rivalry between West Ham and Arsenal, Hammers supporters will concede they would have found it much more palatable had Rice joined Manchester City or a foreign giant.
Rice said he wanted Champions League football and to compete for silverware. And many West Ham fans simply don’t believe Arsenal offer any guarantees on that front beyond at least six matches in Europe’s top tier competition next season.
Some West Ham fans won’t be happy with Declan Rice after Sky Sports reporter’s new Arsenal move claim
Many West Ham supporters were not happy with Rice when he effectively used an England press conference during the winter World Cup to signal his intent to leave the club this summer.
The midfielder was criticised for some of his comments given West Ham were in the thick of a relegation battle back home.
And a member of West Ham’s media team had to defend the skipper for his comments.
The West Ham captain was involved in an exchange with Arsenal star Bukayo Saka on social media last month which caused something of a stir.
In the end Rice helped lead West Ham to Premier League safety and a first major trophy for 43 years. It was a fitting end to his unforgettable time at the club.
‘I was told back in February Rice wanted to go to Arsenal’
But some West Ham fans won’t be happy with Rice after a Sky Sports reporter’s new Arsenal move claim.
Excellent Sky Sports reporter Michael Bridge was one of the only journalists to ask David Moyes difficult questions fans wanted answers to during the dark days last season.
Now speaking to Give Me Sport, Bridge has claimed Rice had his heart set on a move to Arsenal all the way back in February – when West Ham were in the thick of a relegation battle.
“I was told in February that if Declan Rice was leaving West Ham this summer, he was going to Arsenal,” Bridge said.
“He wanted to go to Arsenal.”
New claim won’t sit well with some but we must remember all the good – and there was plenty of it
Some fans will not like this at all, understandably so.
But in mitigation, while he was not at his brilliant best for spells last season, nobody can question Rice’s commitment to West Ham at any stage of his time with the club.
Yes it does not sit well that he was thinking about and wanted to join Arsenal way back in February. It stings.
But West Ham fans knew he was leaving this summer as did those clubs interested in signing him. So we cannot act too surprised when we hear these claims from behind the scenes.
The majority of West Ham fans will – and should – wish Rice well when he departs for the Gunners this week.
He leaves a wonderful legacy at West Ham United and supporters should remember that above all else, no matter how difficult it will be to see him in the red and white of Arsenal after he pushed for that move.