Arsenal’s Rice Tipped To Make First Return To West Ham

Fresh Arsenal newsletter

As the 2023/24 football season now ticks into the month of November, it is almost time for the fourth round of the EFL Cup and on Wednesday evening England midfielder Declan Rice returns to the London Stadium as Arsenal are the visitors to West Ham United in their scheduled clash. For those who like a flutter and an added bit of excitement on their football, Rice making a winning return to his former club would have to feature favourable odds with online betting sites, but the reason everyone loves the beautiful game is almost anything can happen during 90 minutes and West Ham will fancy their chances.

The 24 year old defensive midfielder came through The Hammers’ Academy system and went on to make well over 200 appearances for the club, helping them to Europa Conference League success last season, before ultimately making his new destination the Emirates Stadium as manager Mikel Arteta sanctioned a £105 million move for him over the summer.

Having settled into life at his new club and become an obvious mainstay in Arteta’s first team plans, this is his first return to his former club and it is quite clear that manager David Moyes is more than ready to welcome him back, even if he is determined that his side will take the victory on the day and progress further through the competition this year.

“You’ve got to remember this is the man who lifted this club’s first European trophy in more than 50 years. He should be welcomed back with open arms. We’re all looking forward to seeing him again. He was a brilliant member of the team. He led the team brilliantly well. He conducted himself impeccably as a West Ham captain and as a player. The most important thing was that he gave 100% in every game, even though we sort of knew he probably wasn’t going to stay at West Ham. He conducted himself brilliantly well and for that alone he deserves to be cheered. I’m really looking forward to seeing Dec again. I’ve not seen him since he left. I don’t know if I want him to play, but I hope he’s there.”

Having made wholescale changes for their third round clash against Brentford, the expectation is that Arteta will again side with some rotation, and although he was not giving too much away, he did indicate that Rice would play some part in the game against the side he joined as a 14 year old all those years ago.

“It will be his first time back at his old club and a beautiful moment for him. I had a chance to do it a few times and then you really see what they think of you and what you left at the club. Every time you hear him talk about West Ham and what they did for him and everybody at the club, he cannot talk any higher of them, so hopefully they will be the same way towards him.”

Arsenal will go into this tie as favourites given they are sat in second place in the Premier League and only two points behind North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, but West Ham are also proving to have a far better domestic season this year, as they sit in ninth place in the table, only nine points off the top four spots.

It could certainly be an interesting encounter.

Sign up to our new free weekly newsletter to get the updated Arsenal Power Rankings to your inbox every week, plus lots of other Arsenal content by clicking here. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for Arsenal news and stats including breaking transfer news. Subscribe to our new YouTube channel for video content.