- Arsenal player Declan Rice is extremely excited to make his Champions League debut after the group stage draw was revealed.
- Rice’s desire to play in Europe’s elite competition was one of the reasons why he joined Arsenal from West Ham United.
- The Gunners have been drawn against Sevilla, PSV, and Lens in Group B, which is seen as a favourable draw by some
A recent social media post by Arsenal player Declan Rice shows just how excited he is to make his Champions League debut after the group stage draw was revealed this week.
Who do Arsenal have in the Champions League group?
This summer, the Gunners splashed the cash to land the English midfielder from West Ham United, agreeing a club-record £100m transfer which could rise by a further £5m with add-ons.
Part of the reason Rice was ready to leave the Hammers was due to his desire to play in Europe’s elite competition. Indeed, he made as much clear in December of last year.
Speaking to the press (via the Guardian), he explained: “One hundred per cent I want to play in the Champions League. For the last two or three years I’ve been saying that.
“I’ve been playing consistently well for my club and I feel like I really want to keep pushing. I see my friends here who are playing Champions League and for big trophies.
“You only get one career and at the end you want to look back at what you’ve won and the biggest games you’ve played in.”
And when he arrived in North London, one of the first things he said in his interview with Arsenal was: “I’m so excited for that. “I’ve said for many years now that I’ve wanted to play in the Champions League. I’ve wanted to push myself at the biggest level.
“This opportunity at Arsenal has arisen where Arsenal are in the Champions League, it’s a great club.At the end of the day you get one career, and I want to be as successful as I can with Arsenal, make as many Champions League appearances as possible and hopefully one day get my hands on that trophy.”
Well, the competition is edging ever closer to Rice and co, and the draw was made this week with the Gunners up against
Sevilla, PSV, and Lens in Group B.
In reaction to the news, Rice couldn’t hide his excitement as he posted a picture of the group on his Instagram story and wrote: “Cannot wait. COYG.”
Who did Declan Rice play for before West Ham?
Rice was at the Chelsea academy before being released as a youngster aged just 14 as he then joined West Ham. Having spent his earlier years at a Champions League club, this may have instilled his desire to play in the competition one day.
Well, he’ll soon get to fulfil that ambition and he’s not the only Arsenal player excited to make his debut in the tournament with Gabriel Martinelli also taking to Instagram to say: “The Champions League music at Emirates… I’m ready.”
Fortunately for the Gunners, the group seems to be pretty winnable too. Indeed, in reaction to the news, The Athletic’s James McNicholas (also known as Gunnerblog) took to Twitter to say: “It’s a very kind draw. Even on the practical side, you’d absolutely take Sevilla being your furthest away trip.
“Arsenal should absolutely be aiming to win that group.”
No doubt, Rice, Martinelli and their teammates will be hoping they can get out of the group and go far in the competition – it’ll certainly be interesting to see how they all get on.