Declan Rice: What will be the Gunner’s expensive signing’s Jersey Number?
After agreeing on a £105 million price with West Ham United for Declan Rice, Arsenal appear to have overcome the final obstacle as they prepare to welcome the England international to North London for the 2023-24 season.
The Hammers dug in their heels over their preferred payment system, causing a brief pause in the process, but the two teams are now claimed to have struck an agreement.
Rice’s arrival at the Emirates will make him not only Arsenal’s all-time record signing. But it is also Great Britain’s, exceeding the £100 million Jack Grealish paid Manchester City in 2021.
Declan Rice will undergo medical examination before signing a five-year contract at the Emirates. After that, he can finally achieve his Champions League aspirations.
Sports Mole investigates which shirt numbers are accessible to Rice in North London.
Rice has worn the number 41 shirt for West Ham United since making his professional debut at the London Stadium. He wore the same jersey at junior level during the 2016-17 season.
Rice would not be the first new Arsenal addition to have a relationship to a certain number, as Kai Havertz will continue in the 29 shirt – a bond that began while the German was playing FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer video games with his brother.
Declan Rice: The most expensive British player in history
On his first preseason outing with the first squad, Declan Rice got only the 41 jersey.
According to The Overlap, the England international may continue to wear the number on his back for the rest of his career due to his superstitious inclination.
Last season, Arsenal gave the number “41” to Mauro Bandeira, a 19-year-old Portuguese midfielder.
Rice is welcome to take Bandeira’s number. But Bandeira is still waiting to make his first-team debut and is more than glad to do so in the hopes that Rice will someday follow in his footsteps.
Unsurprisingly, no legendary figures—including forgotten former youth products Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Gayte—have ever donned the number 41 for Arsenal. However, Josh Dasilva, another North London shirt bearer, has since found a Premier League home at Brentford.
The England international may take over as Arsenal’s new number five if Thomas Partey leaves before the new season starts and Rice decides to end his romance with the “41” for whatever reason.
Otherwise, the 24-year-old’s options are restricted, since the number four jersey he wears for England is presently in the ownership of Ben White, while centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes has a tight grasp on the number six shirt.
There is a chance that Gabriel will take on the conventional center-back’s ‘5’ if Partey leaves, perhaps leaving the number six empty, but all indicators point to Rice becoming the 11th player to wear Arsenal’s number 41.