Declan Rice gives perfect response to Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher as Arsenal proven right


Declan Rice has responded to criticism from Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher in spectacular fashion during Arsenal's clash against Manchester United. The 24-year-old midfielder scored the winning goal in the dying embers of the clash at the Emirates Stadium, proving that he can add value to the Gunners at either end of the pitch.

Ahead of Arsenal's tie against Crystal Palace last month, Neville insisted that Rice needs to add more goals and assists to his game to truly warrant his eye-watering price tag. The former Red Devils defender said: "For £100m I think you want goals and assists at the top end of the pitch sorting out, but the last six months has completely changed the perception of midfielder players’ values.

"You mention Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira, personally they are the two best midfield players that we have seen in British football and I don’t think Declan Rice is in that category."

Singing from the same hymn sheet, Carragher agreed with Neville, but acknowledged that Rice does not always have the opportunity to add to his tally. The former Liverpool defender said: "I actually like him in the role he played tonight more than popping up between the lines.

"His initial position was to start in that deeper position and drive forward from it. I think that is where he is at his best. He has talked about learning from the manager, playing further forward, maybe playing in pockets.

"I don’t think it fully suits him but I really liked what I saw tonight. It felt like everything went through him. He was in the centre of the pitch, he was getting the ball, he was switching play – a couple of great 50 to 60 yard passes.

"But also when he made that run, he slipped a little pass to Nketiah. He was the best player on the pitch. I thought he was outstanding."

READ MORE: Why VAR overturned Arsenal penalty vs Man United with Gary Neville and Mike Dean surprised

After the United game, Rice shared a joke with Roy Keane, who has been just as vocal about the former West Ham midfielder's need to score more goals. Speaking on Sky Sports, the England international said: "We were knocking on the door with the corners, I had a chance in the first half.

"I thought we were a constant threat, and then the one I scored I stayed back and thought I controlled it with my chin at first, but if you don’t shoot you don’t score and it was such a special moment. What do you reckon Roy?"

Then, on the result, Rice added: "I think as an outsider looking in and watching Manchester United versus Arsenal over the years, you understand the heritage and understand the game, the big players that have played in this game and what it means to the fans. I was really focused before the game, I knew what today meant and wanted to give it my all."

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