One of the main attractions of the game between West Ham e Arsenal this Wednesday (1st), at 4:30 pm (Brasília time), it will be Declan Rice. The match valid for the round of 16 of the English League Cupwith transmission live on ESPN on Star+marks the midfielder’s reunion with the fans of the Hammers.
Born in the youth teams at West Ham, where he arrived at the age of 14, Rice made 245 appearances for the top team and was the captain in the historic victory of the club. Conference League last season, which ended a 43-year drought without relevant trophies.
The midfielder was one of the club’s greatest idols, but, after rejecting several renewal offers, he ended up negotiating with Arsenal in the last transfer window for an incredible 105 million pounds (R$642 million), making him the most expensive British player in history. The desire to play in a team that competes for titles and is also evident in Champions League spoke louder.
Given this scenario, it is quite possible that Rice will receive a hostile reception from a large part of the team’s fans. Hammers, who are not usually affectionate with players who leave the team for teams in England. Perhaps already anticipating this, coach David Moyes appealed to the fans for the athlete to be well received.
“You have to remember that this is the man who lifted this club’s first European trophy in more than 50 years. He should be welcomed with open arms. We are all looking forward to seeing him again,” said the coach.
“He led the team brilliantly. He behaved impeccably as West Ham captain and as a player. The most important thing was that he gave 100% in every game, even though we knew he probably wouldn’t stay at West Ham. So all the credit goes to him. He behaved brilliantly and for that alone he deserves to be applauded.”
The opinion is shared by current Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. During the press conference on the eve of the clash, the Spaniard confirmed that he will list the midfielder for the game.
“It would be the first time he returned to his old club and a beautiful moment for him. I had the experience of doing that a few times and then you really see what people think of you and what you left at that club,” he said.
Absolute holder two Gunners, Rice has two goals and two assists in 14 games this season. He is one of the pillars of the team that fights point by point for the leadership of the Premier League.
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The post first appeared on www.espn.com.br