Declan Rice speaks out about his heated altercation with Arsenal teammate Eddie Nketiah

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Following his high-profile move from West Ham to Arsenal for a reported fee of £100 million plus £5 million in add-ons, Declan Rice spoke candidly about a previous on-pitch altercation involving Eddie Nketiah.

The signing was officially confirmed by Arsenal on Saturday, with Rice signing a five-year contract that includes an option for an additional year.

The England international expressed his excitement about joining the Gunners and embarking on a new chapter in his career.

“I’ve been looking at Arsenal over the last couple of seasons and the trajectory they’ve been on,” he said upon his unveiling.

“Not last season but the season before, they [only] finished fifth, but you could see the style of play Mikel was implementing. Last season was an outstanding season, blowing pretty much every team out of the water with the exception of Manchester City.”

Rice was also quick to address a past altercation he had with new team-mate Nketiah.

Declan Rice was unveiled as an Arsenal player today. Credit: Getty/The Arsenal Football Club plc

Rice sheds light on Nketiah altercation

Rice insisted there were no hard feelings between him and Nketiah, despite the pair having exchanged a fierce war of words in May 2022, when the former was playing for West Ham.

Speaking to the Arsenal website, Rice said: “I played with Eddie from under-nines to under-14s. We were both released on the same day and it’s crazy where football takes you, your journey.

“He’s made it through the ranks at Arsenal, I made it through the ranks at West Ham. Now we get to link back up again.

“I’ve always loved Eddie, even though we had that little altercation on the pitch before! I’ve always loved him and been close to his family.

“His dad is a top, top guy who used to come on all the tours with us as kids, so I’m really looking forward to seeing Eddie again and of course the other boys.”

Rice is Arsenal’s third major signing this summer, as the club looks to go one better than their second-place finish last term.

The former West Ham skipper follows the recruitment of Kai Havertz from Chelsea in a £65million deal and the arrival of Netherlands defender Jurrien Timber from Ajax for up to £38.5million.

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