Footage of Declan Rice giving instructions to Arsenal players shortly after scoring the winning goal against Manchester United has surfaced online, and it’s exactly what fans had hoped to see from their new signing.
Rice made a high-profile move to the Gunners during the summer transfer window, setting a club-record fee of £105 million. He signed a five-year deal at the Emirates, with the option for an additional year.
The 24-year-old scored his debut goal for the north London club in a dramatic fashion, securing the victory for Arsenal in stoppage time against Manchester United by arriving at the back post.
However, it was his reaction after the goal that caught everyone’s attention. Rice was seen instructing his teammates to remain composed and focused, reminding them that they needed to secure the win before celebrating.
You can watch the footage below.
This was Rice after scoring the winner in the 96th minute – imploring the team to remain focused and keep our shape amidst all the euphoria.
It may seem a small detail but this type of emotional intelligence and leadership is what will get you over the line with 10 games to go. pic.twitter.com/VUP5uzGwSs
— Mo (@MoArsenal86) September 8, 2023
One could argue it was the kind of leadership and mentality that the Gunners lacked last season, as they fell short to Manchester City in the Premier League title race.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta previously waxed lyrical about the England international’s “leadership” and “aura” back in August, stating: “His leadership, his aura, obviously the experience he already has in this league.
“He’s going to bring the team to a different dimension. He’s got the physical qualities that we’ve been missing for a while, that’s why we had to do what we had to do to get him, because he’s really important for us.”
Meanwhile, theDaily Mailclaimed last month that Arteta views Rice as a future captain of Arsenal, with the midfielder tipped to become part of the club’s recognised leadership group.
Speaking about Rice’s goal after the game, club and international teammate Bukayo Saka toldtalkSPORT:
“That was amazing. I think I watched his goal back over 20 times. It was an unbelievable moment for him, his family, and even the stadium.
“He told me that the Emirates is crazy when he felt the atmosphere. He’s right, you know, it’s really special to play there.
“I’m just happy that he’s happy and that he’s performing and he got his first goal. I don’t think there’s a better moment for him to get his first goal.”