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Declan Rice reveals the surprising thing Arteta did on his first day at Arsenal

Arsenal completed the signing of Declan Rice in the summer transfer window and the Englishman has revealed the surprising thing that Arteta did.

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( Mikel Arteta and Declan Rice / Photo via Getty )

The signing of Declan Rice by Arsenal for a whopping £105m from West Ham in the summer transfer window of 2023 sent shockwaves through the football world. The 24-year-old midfielder had established himself as one of the brightest talents in English football, and his move to the Gunners was seen as a statement of intent from the North London club.

However, what surprised Rice the most was not the size of the transfer fee or the pressure that comes with playing for a club of Arsenal’s stature. It was actually something that happened on his very first day at the club, courtesy of manager Mikel Arteta.

In an interview with Tubes & Ange Golf Life on YouTube, Rice revealed that he was a bit nervous on his first day at Arsenal. As he walked through the training ground, he came out of the physio room only to find a sticker on his chest. The sticker read, “Hello, I’m the new person.”

 

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 15: (L) Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta with new signing Declan Rice and (R) Sporting Director Edu at Emirates Stadium on July 15, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Declan Rice: “I was a bit nervous – the first day [at Arsenal], I was down there on the Sunday, the lads weren’t in but I come out of the physio room & Arteta, just like little things he does, he put like a sticker on my chest saying, ‘Hello, I’m the new person’. All the under-18s & under-21s are in the canteen & I’m walking through trying to hide my chest.” Mikel Arteta told Tubes & Ange Golf Life YouTube.

This small gesture by Arteta caught Rice off guard and left him trying to hide his chest as he walked through the canteen, where all the under-18s and under-21s were gathered. It was a lighthearted prank that broke the ice and made Rice feel welcome in his new surroundings.

This incident speaks volumes about Arteta’s management style and his ability to create a positive atmosphere within the squad. Despite being a highly respected and accomplished coach, Arteta understands the importance of making newcomers feel comfortable and included.

Rice went on to describe how Arteta’s attention to detail and personal touch had a lasting impact on him. It made him realize that he had joined a club where every individual is valued and where a strong team spirit is fostered.

Since that day, Rice has settled into life at Arsenal seamlessly, forming a formidable midfield partnership with fellow new signing Jude Bellingham. The duo has been instrumental in Arsenal’s success this season, with Rice providing stability and composure in the heart of midfield.

As Arsenal continue to challenge for domestic and European honors, the bond between Arteta and his players will undoubtedly play a crucial role. The manager’s ability to create a welcoming and inclusive environment, as demonstrated by his prank on Rice, will only strengthen the team’s unity and drive for success.

I am a very stubborn person who is always very argumentative in football discussions but I always win. I like writing about transfer news most.

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