Rice – "It was emotional"

The feeling of joy among the players and supporters alike was clear to see when Kai Havertz celebrated his goal in our thumping victory over Bournemouth on Saturday.

The German confidently netted from the penalty spot after Martin Odegaard was felled, to make it 3-0, and open his account for the Gunners.

Fellow summer signing Declan Rice was among the players who mobbed Havertz after the goal, and the vociferous travelling supporters sang his name persistently for the rest of the game.

After the final whistle, Rice said it was a special moment. “It was emotional, for the fans, for Kai, for everyone involved, because we want him to succeed so much.

“Honestly, he works his socks off every day in training. In games he gives absolutely everything. He’s had chances to score this year, hadn’t scored yet, but today to slot away a penalty in that high pressure moment, shows the mindset that he’s got, shows the talent he’s got and his all-round performance was so special, I’m so happy for him.”

Rice added that the celebrations, as well as the decision of Bukayo Saka to give Havertz the penalty opportunity (having already handed the ball to Odegaard for the first spot kick) showed the togetherness in the squad.  

“I think you can see it every day,” he said. “We’re a young group of lads who really believe and trust in the manager. He’s brought that environment into the club, and the whole energy around the place in terms of staff, the players, the fans at the Emirates, the fans here today.

“It’s such a special feeling. It’s really good to be a part of and like I said, that’s why I came to Arsenal, It’s real honour to play for this club and when there are special moments like this, it’s really good.”

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