Graeme Souness highlights key weakness in ‘predictable’ Arsenal target Declan Rice’s game

Declan Rice lacks the cutting edge required to be a top class midfielder.

That is the view of former Liverpool captain Graeme Souness, who believes the West Ham skipper doesn’t score enough goals or create enough chances.


Rice could be on the move away from West Ham this summer in a potential £100million dealCredit: Getty
Souness believes Rice lacks the cutting edge to be a top class midfielder


Souness believes Rice lacks the cutting edge to be a top class midfielderCredit: talkSPORT

Rice is facing an uncertain future in east London, as Arsenal look to secure the 24-year-old’s services.

The England international has been the subject of a second bid worth £90million from the Gunners.

Though talkSPORT understands the Hammers will reject the offer as they hold out for in excess of £100m.

Souness, a formidable midfielder in his day, who won titles and European Cups, said earlier this year that Rice is more suited to being a centre-back.

And during an appearance on the White and Jordan show on Tuesday, Souness doubled down on his opinion that Rice cannot be considered an elite midfielder.

He said: “If you’re looking for a top, top midfield player, I don’t believe he has enough cute passing in him to be that.

“I think he’d be a really good guy, he’d be great to work with, extremely athletic, he senses danger so he’s got that part of a central midfield player’s game, he’s got that.

“He can get himself into positions where the guys he is playing against that want to find the striker or make a cute pass, he knows that and not everyone can get that.

Rice has been the subject of two offers from Arsenal this transfer window


Rice has been the subject of two offers from Arsenal this transfer window

“So he’s got that instinctively, but what he doesn’t have is cute and clever passes when he gets into the last third.

“I think he’s a little bit predictable when he gets on the ball personally.”

Commenting on if his game would improve should he make the move to the Emirates, Souness stated: “He’d make Arsenal better. Would he personally get better? Not sure.”

He added: “[James] Maddison has got that final ball. I’m not sure if that’s something he [Rice] can develop.

“I think that’s something you’ve got or you’ve not got, there’s no doubt he would be an asset to whoever takes him, and I bet he’s a great boy to work with.

“This is not a criticism, we’re talking about someone worth £100m.

“But for me, the top midfield players have what he has, and have the cuteness of play further up the field, and they’ll score goals and they create chances.

“His record is 204 games, ten goals, ten assists.”

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