Declan Rice joins Arsenal and bids farewell to West Ham with emotional open letter

Declan Rice has completed his £105 million transfer from West ham to Arsenal – Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Declan Rice has said Arsenal “will take some stopping” as he declared the club could win both the Premier League and Champions League after completing his British record £105m move from West Ham

Rice finally completed his move to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, bringing an end to a pursuit that has lasted more than six months.

The midfielder has signed a five-year contract until the summer of 2028, with the option of another year, and said he wants to spend his “best years” at Arsenal as he embraces the challenge of restoring the club to the top of the English game under Mikel Arteta’s management.

He arrives at the club after captaining West Ham to Europa Conference League glory earlier this summer, and told Arsenal’s official website: “Lifting that was really special, and the icing on the cake. But my ambitions now are to win with Arsenal again. I think this fanbase deserves it.

“There have been FA Cups, Community Shields, but now it’s time to go one step bigger and win the Premier League, win the Champions League, and I wouldn’t be here if I did not believe that. I believe in this squad. I believe in the manager.

Declan Rice will keep the No 41 at Arsenal – Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

“We have a real good energy around and when everyone is pushing in the right direction Arsenal will take some stopping. So I’m looking forward to this journey.”

Rice’s arrival has taken Arsenal’s summer spending to around £200 million, as they have already completed the deals to sign Kai Havertz from Chelsea (£65 million) and Jurrien Timber from Ajax (£39 million).

“Now I have joined, we’ve got some other signings as well, we are looking to get Arsenal back to the big time, back to winning stuff,” Rice said.

“With Mikel and how he works, the squad, how young everyone is, the energy around the club and also the challenge of getting Arsenal back to where they belong, that means a lot to me.

“I know the fans really want that. For me as a player, I’ve come here really hungry to have more success and to spend my best years at this great club.”

On Arteta’s influence, Rice added: “He’s a massive factor in the reason why I’ve come here. I know he’s going to get the best out of me. I know I’ve got more levels to go up in my game, and I feel like he’s the manager to take me to those next levels. I’m really excited to be working with him.”

Rice has been signed primarily as a defensive midfielder and Arsenal are expecting him to develop into an even better player than has been seen at West Ham and for England in recent seasons.

West Ham had earlier confirmed the 24-year-old’s departure from the club, with Rice writing an emotional open letter to the club’s supporters.

West Ham have insisted they did not want to sell Rice but did not want to stand in his way when he made it clear he wanted to leave.

“I am sorry to see Declan leave us, but I believe that everyone at West Ham United should be very proud of the part we have played in his journey from the Academy of Football at Chadwell Heath to becoming the most valuable young player in English football,” said West Ham chairman David Sullivan.

“I would like to make it clear to our supporters that we did not want to sell Declan. We wanted to build our team around him and made a series of improved, long-term contract offers to secure his future. However, once Declan made it clear that he wished to move on and seek a new challenge, the Club felt it would not be right to stand in his way, acting in the best interests of West Ham United.”

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