Mikel Arteta told Arsenal star is being ‘wasted’ in his ‘wrong position’
Declan Rice is being ‘wasted’ in his midfield role at Arsenal, according to Emmanuel Petit.
The England international was one of Mikel Arteta’s top targets in the summer transfer window and Arsenal ended up agreeing a £105 million deal with West Ham.
Rice has impressed since joining Arteta’s side but Petit believes the 24-year-old should only be played as a defensive midfielder, rather than in a more advanced position to fill the void left by Granit Xhaka.
‘Declan Rice’s priority for Arsenal should be to maintain the balance of the side and to win the ball back for his team. He does those things so well,’ Petit told Compare.Bet.
‘I think he is wasted a bit in that No.8 role where Xhaka played last season because he is such a brilliant holding midfielder.
‘You cannot ask him to play how Xhaka played last year because that’s not his position.
‘His best position is as a holding midfielder and that is where the manager should play him, it’s fundamental to how Arteta wants to play.’
Petit also feels that Leandro Trossard, who has scored in each of his last two appearances, should now be considered as Arsenal’s first-choice striker following Gabriel Jesus’ injury.
‘Even going back to his Brighton days I have loved watching Leandro Trossard,’ Petit said.
‘He is such an intelligent footballer and so good technically. His movement is absolutely exceptional and he just has such a good feel for the game. He can create chances and score goals and you can see he has an elite mentality. He has become an extremely important player for Arteta.
‘The best players always have to play, and part of that is availability as well as form. Jesus spends far too much time being injured. He can play well for a few weeks and then he gets injured and this has happened for years now.
‘Trossard is always available and very rarely does he play poorly. For me, he should be the first option for Arsenal’s striker.’