Rice excited for Champions League challenge

Declan Rice is targeting both the Premier League and Champions League after completing his switch from West Ham United on Saturday.

The midfielder has joined us after spending nine years at the Hammers, where he captained them to European glory in his last-ever game for the club, and now he has the taste for more silverware.

West Ham Player of the Season in three of the past four years, and a full England international since making his debut in 2019, Declan’s career has been on a steady upwards trajectory over the past few years. But now he wants to push himself to the next level, and is looking forward to competing in the Champions League for the first time this season.

“I’m so excited for that,” he told “I’ve said for many years now that I’ve wanted to play in the Champions League. I’ve wanted to push myself at the biggest level. This opportunity at Arsenal has arisen where Arsenal are in the Champions League, it’s a great club.

“At the end of the day you get one career, and I want to be as successful as I can with Arsenal, make as many Champions League appearances as possible and hopefully one day get my hands on that trophy.”

Now 24, Declan was named Hammers captain last season, and is keen to bring a positive attitude and mentality with him to his new side.   

“The main thing is I’m just going to be myself,” he said. “There is no need to be any different. When I am myself, when I’m Declan Rice, that makes me excel.

“I’m just going to be the same lad that has worked hard to get to where he has got to. I think the lads will really embrace me. I’m a really outgoing person so I try to have a laugh, treat everyone how I’d like to be treated. There have been some really good values that I learnt from West Ham that will stay with me forever. It’s important to bring those to this club, which also has their own values, so I’m really looking forward to it.

“My ambitions now are to win with Arsenal,” he added. “I think this fanbase deserves it. There have been FA Cups and Community Shields, but now it’s time to go one step bigger and win the Premier League, win the Champions League. I wouldn’t be here if I did not believe that.

“I believe in this squad. I believe in the manager. We have a real good energy around and when everyone is pushing in the right direction Arsenal will take some stopping.”

The midfielder has joined up with his new teammates ahead of our tour of the USA and is eagerly anticipating pulling on the Arsenal shirt for the first time Stateside.

“It’s going to be really different obviously, because I’ve known one club for such a long time,” he added. “What I’m going to do is embrace it, really embrace it. I’m going to embrace the fans, embrace my teammates.

“When I pull on the shirt, I’ll know what it means to play for Arsenal, because I’d have been training and it will have been drilled into me around the place. So I’m going to know straight away, as soon as you step on that pitch, it’s all go and I will give 110 per cent for this club. I want to be the best version of myself, so let’s give it a real good go.”

Watch part two of our Declan Rice interview by clicking play on the video above, or hear our new signing discuss the influence Mikel Arteta had on his transfer as well as linking up with familiar faces in part one.

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