Declan Rice is 'wasted' in the No 8 role for Arsenal

Declan Rice is ‘wasted’ in the No 8 role for Arsenal insists former Gunners star Emmanuel Petit… as he urges club to sign two Bayern Munich midfielders

  • Petit believes Arsenal should be playing Rice in his more natural No 6 position
  • He has urged his former side to go and sign two Bayern Munich midfielders   
  • It’s a three-team title race… Toney could lead Arsenal to glory: It’s All Kicking Off

Former Arsenal star Emmanuel Petit believes Declan Rice is being ‘wasted’ in the No 8 role under Mikel Arteta this season.

Rice has impressed since he joined the Gunners for a club record fee of £105m during the summer transfer window.

The England star’s best position is widely regarded to be at the No 6 role, though he has also impressed as a No 8 for Arteta in recent weeks.

Former Arsenal midfielder Petit though feels Rice is better playing off deeper, while also suggesting two midfield players they could sign from Bayern Munich, who would boost their title hopes.

Petit told ‘Declan Rice’s priority for Arsenal should be to maintain the balance of the side and to win the ball back for his team. 

Emmanuel Petit believes Declan Rice (left) is wasted in the No 8 role under Mikel Arteta (right)

Rice has been used higher up the pitch in recent weeks though the England star has admitted that the No 6 is his best position

Former Arsenal star Petit believes Rice is better off as a holding midfield player

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‘He does those things so well. I think he is wasted a bit in that number 8 role where Xhaka played last season because he is such a brilliant holding midfielder.

‘You cannot ask him to play how Xhaka played last year because that’s not his position. 

‘His best position is as a holding midfielder and that is where the manager should play him, it’s fundamental to how Arteta wants to play.’

Petit, who was part of the French national squad that won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, added that he felt Arsenal should sign Bayern Munich pair Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich to solve their midfield conundrum.  

He said: ‘The main two players I would target if I was Arsenal would be Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka. 

‘They are both incredible players with huge experience who have both been at Bayern for a while and would maybe like a new challenge. 

‘Goretzka has played at such a high level for so long and is still only 28, and I think Kimmich would be great for Arsenal, even if the price tag may be a bit expensive.’

Rice recently admitted after Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Sevilla that No 6 was his best position – despite playing the match in the more advanced position.

He told TNT Sports after the game: ‘I think my best position is probably as a number 6. My biggest strength is breaking up the play and taking the ball from deep.

‘I do get excited when I play number 8 though. I get to show the other side of my game. I didn’t stop running tonight.’

Petit believes Arsenal should look at Leon Goretzka (centre) and Joshua Kimmich (right)


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