Declan Rice agrees with Paul Merson over verdict on key Arsenal star

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One Arsenal star has come in for more praise after the arrival of big-money signing Declan Rice.

Declan Rice and Paul Merson are in agreement over a certain Arsenal star.

The Gunners are already ramping up their preparations for the new season, currently training in the USA ahead of their Stateside friendlies. Arsenal’s new big-money signings are part of their training group, with Arsenal spending more than £200million so far this summer, signing Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber.

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Rice was the marquee signing, arriving on a British-record deal from West Ham worth more than £100million, with Arteta hoping the midfielder will help his side bridge the gap to Manchester City.

Rice has already been in camp for the best part of a week, and it seems he is particularly impressed with one player - Arsenal’s captain Martin Odegaard. Posting a picture with Odegaard on Instagram, Rice captioned the Norwegian “wizard”.

It comes amid a verdict from Arsenal legend Merson on Odegaard back in March after the Norwegian proved many wrong with his captaincy abilities.

"Martin Odegaard has proved me wrong and is becoming the leader Arsenal need to pass their toughest test yet,” Merson said. “He is the main man there now and the first name on the teamsheet for me. He has really improved and is doing the business. I think the players respect him because they can see he's a real player. I didn't see it at first, I have to admit. It looked like he didn't really want to leave Real Madrid, and I didn't think he pulled up any tress on his loan spell at Arsenal.

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"He could have sulked and lost his confidence when Madrid didn't want him any more, but he's playing better than ever now. He's Arsenal's go-to man and he makes them tick. He isn't a leader in terms of running around and kicking people or barking out orders. But in terms of the way he's playing he is. The way he's turned it around people are looking at him now and fair play, he has done very, very well. He always wants the ball and knows how to use it. That's leadership too. I take my hat off to him because he's top, top drawer. One of the best in the Premier League in my opinion."

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