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Liverpool and Arsenal warned against buying $125mn player from West Ham As the next football season draws closer



Liverpool and Arsenal warned against buying $125mn player from West Ham

As the next football season draws closer, Arsenal has been cautioned about spending excessively on Declan Rice, the West Ham captain. Manager Mikel Arteta is keen on fortifying his team to meet the escalating competition expected in the 2023/24 season. Despite not initially being considered serious contenders this year, Arsenal now needs to capitalize on their current status to remain competitive.

The upcoming season presents a stiff challenge, with at least seven clubs vying for four top spots. Newcastle and Manchester United are poised to secure their positions alongside Arsenal and Manchester City.

Meanwhile, Tottenham, Chelsea, and Liverpool are also expected to be formidable opponents, indicating a fierce battle ahead. Thus, strategic player acquisition is crucial to gaining an advantage.

In recent seasons, Arsenal has experienced success from trusting young talents, demonstrating the efficacy of long-term player development. This summer presents an opportunity for the club to tap into a larger talent pool.

Declan Rice has emerged as a key target, especially given the need for bolstering Arsenal’s midfield. Their recent title run exposed this weakness, with young Fabio Vieira contributing little to the squad and Granit Xhaka, despite being only 30, is among the older players.

Rice’s impressive performance is attracting interest from several Premier League and European clubs, likely driving up his transfer price. Considering West Ham’s likelihood of evading relegation, Rice’s price could be steep. Formerly valued at £100 million ($125.3 million) by David Moyes, ex-Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann suggests this could overstretch both Liverpool and Arsenal’s budgets.

Liverpool’s expected summer expenditure is nearly £250 million ($313.3 million). Investing half of this on Rice, factoring in his wages, could limit the club’s ability to strengthen other areas. Hamann appreciates Rice’s skills but acknowledges £100 million as a significant sum.

Meanwhile, Arsenal has shown interest in Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton. Mac Allister, with his stellar performance this year, is predicted to command a transfer fee exceeding £60 million ($75.2 million), with Liverpool appearing to be the likely destination. This could provide Arsenal with an opportunity to pursue Rice, depending on Liverpool’s deal-making prowess.

Hamann notes that heavy spending on one player could limit the options for other potential recruits. He agrees with the sentiment that if Rice’s transfer fee surpasses £100 million, it might be unaffordable for clubs like Arsenal and Liverpool.

Unlike Liverpool, which needs substantial changes, Arsenal only needs to focus on specific positions. This might free up more funds for a potential Rice bid.

Despite West Ham’s lackluster season, Rice has continued to impress, particularly in the 2-1 Europa Conference League victory over AZ Alkmaar. This progression to the semi-finals earned them £8.8 million ($11 million), a figure that could rise to at least £11.8 million ($14.7 million) if they reach the final.

This further solidifies Rice’s high valuation and indicates a potential perfect farewell from the London Stadium. However, it also underscores the financial considerations Arsenal must weigh in their pursuit of the West Ham captain.

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Curtis Jones’masterclass’has changed Liverpool transfer fate and exposed teammate’s problem

Up until just a few weeks ago, Curtis Jones was a relatively forgotten man on Merseyside. The Liverpool youngster had graduated from his club’s academy but after years of being on the scene, he had failed to establish himself as a fixed starter under Jürgen Klopp.

Many supporters had even considered the prospect of selling him this summer, purely as a means of raising funds to boost the transfer budget ahead of what promises to be a hugely important window for the Reds. Jones was regarded as a potentially sellable asset in some circles, but across his last eight appearances, that has changed.

With Liverpool struggling in the Premier League this term, the Scouse midfielder was presented with an opportunity to stake a claim for a regular starting role against Chelsea at the beginning of April. He performed to a reasonable standard in the bout and since, he’s started a further seven consecutive games in a row, making a real difference on the field.

READ MORE: Jude Bellingham contract details could end Liverpool hope as José Mourinho responds to PSG links

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Jones has helped across a number of departments, but his ability to retain possession despite playing high up the field has perhaps been the most prominent element of his game. The 22-year-old simply never loses the ball, and that quality has presented Liverpool with a platform to dominate matches like it did last year.

Across his last eight starts for the Reds, Jones has attempted a total of 403 passes, misplacing just 35 of them. He’s giving away the ball about five times per 90 minutes, which is notably good considering his high positioning as a makeshift number 10 whenever Liverpool has possession under control.

He isn’t doing anything particularly special, but he’s having a positive impact by essentially encouraging patience and control. Klopp’s outfit has been able to probe opposition defenses in the final third due to his reliable presence, and he’s provided the team with balance considering how often Darwin Núñez, Diogo Jota and Andy Robertson tend to lose the ball on that left flank.

Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

(Image: James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images)

Jones’ tendency to play short five-yard passes has also helped Klopp’s signature pressing game, as rather than all of his teammates having to cover excessive ground to regain possession, they are usually within the vicinity of the opponent who snatches the ball whenever he gives it away, allowing for a swift and efficient counter-press.

Each and every time that a Liverpool player loses possession, he is essentially starting a fire. Those troublesome fires have to be extinguished as quickly as possible — which has been Fabinho’s primary job over the years — otherwise they will spread and become more dangerous, with Alisson Becker acting as his team’s last line of defense.

Jones isn’t inclined to start fires, which explains why Liverpool has looked more in control in recent weeks. He has provided a masterclass on ball retention with his showings in many ways, which is more than can be said for his more senior teammate, Jordan Henderson.

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The Reds skipper offers specific traits and leadership qualities and that is why Klopp values his presence, but he’s occupied the same role as Jones over the last eight games — albeit from the right side — and has misplaced a total of 70 passes, despite playing fewer minutes.

In essence, Henderson has started exactly twice as many fires as Jones over the eight-match period in question, even though he’s considerably more experienced as a seasoned veteran, now aged 32. In his last appearance against Brentford, he came on as a substitute and lost the ball five times in 18 minutes. Jones, by contrast, lost the ball just three times in 81 minutes of action.

There is a lot that he can learn by shadowing his captain behind the scenes, but on the pitch over the last few months, it is the student who has painted himself as the better performer, not the master.

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