Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has hailed Declan Rice and admitted he was ‘mad to sign’ the midfielder after he impressed against the Gunners last season.

Arsenal signed Rice from West Ham United for £105 million last summer.

Rice is expected to face his former club West Ham when Arsenal host the Hammers in a Premier League tie on Thursday.

“When they put the price-tag you have to carry that and it is not easy,” Arteta said at his pre-match press conference.

“He is a really humble guy and the way that he wants to learn and take positive criticism is really powerful.

“I felt it when I played against him, that is why I was mad to sign him. You get a feeling about players and I wanted him to be part of our team.

“He has shown that he has an eye for goals when he is in the opponent’s box he is a real threat. That is something that can be developed.

“His leadership skills, the way that he will naturally grow in the team and club in the years to come, there is much more from him.”

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