Declan Rice an essential figure for England

By on May 15, 2024

There is not long for football fans to wait before the next major event is upon us. The 17th edition of the UEFA European Championship is set to begin on Friday 14th June and many Arsenal players will be trying to help their countries to glory this summer. However, for the English contingent, they will go into the tournament as favourites to lift the trophy according to Euro 2024 odds at Cloudbet, and while Aaron Ramsdale and Ben White might not travel to Germany due to lack of playing time and personal reasons respectively, Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice will most certainly be flying the Arsenal flag for England.

Although opposition defences will be paying close attention the Arsenal winger, it is Rice that many consider to be pivotal to any England success at the Euros.


More attacking license

It remains to be seen who Gareth Southgate will select in his first eleven for England’s tournament opener against Serbia on 16th June, but when fit, Rice is a guaranteed starter for the England manager. The overriding question, however, is what role Rice will play in the midfield. Over the course of the season, Mikel Arteta has deployed Rice higher up the pitch, adding more assists and goals to his already impressive game. Southgate has tended to use Rice as a classic number six, patrolling and protecting the area in front of the defence. With defensive midfielders in short supply in the England squad, Rice could well be utilised in a deeper role. But do not be surprised if the 25-year-old starts dovetailing effortlessly with Jude Bellingham.

Set-piece prowess!

Rice has added new aspects to his game, but few had him down as a corner specialist. A handful of assists that DR has added to his game have arrived from the corner spot. Nicolas Jover, Arsenal’s set-piece coach, clearly saw quality in Rice’s technique and deliveries from corner kicks in training to trust him with that responsibility and Rice’s corner kicks have been a valuable source of goals, something that England are also known for. We have seen Harry Kane on corner kick duty, to disastrous effect, but the likes of John Stones and Harry Maguire will relish any deliveries that Rice swings into the box.

With goals, assists and corner kicks all now part of Rice’s ever-developing game, it is sometimes easy to overlook what he does best. The former West Ham United player rose to prominence with his combative, ball-winning skills in East London. Coming up against the best players in Europe, Rice’s skills will put to the ultimate test but at the level he is currently performing at, he has the Arsenal to rise to the occasion and will certainly be an essential figure in any England success this summer.