Jack Wilshere wants Declan Rice to join Arsenal and says he’s spoken to his former teammate about his progress at West Ham United.
Jack Wilshere is currently Arsenal’s u18 head coach, helping the young Gunners to reach the FA Youth Cup semi-final this season.
But before he went into coaching, Wilshere played for a number of Premier League sides including West Ham United.
Though he didn’t spend a huge amount of time on the pitch during that spell, Wilshere did play alongside Declan Rice in 12 of his 19 Hammers appearances.
Now Wilshere is seemingly eyeing up a reunion in north London, hoping that Rice will pick Arsenal for a summer transfer.
“He’s a midfielder who can do anything,” Wilshere said. “Anyone who supports any club would want Dec to join.
“If I’m talking from a selfish point of view, in north London, I think he would be very good under Mikel’s watch.
“Mikel would develop him, bring him on even more and he would be massive for the team as well. I have had conversations with Dec and told him what he is doing is unbelievable, he is captain of a big Premier League club and is always learning.
“You have to be respectful to West Ham, that is his club, but his future is in his hands and it’s very exciting for him because he’s got everything with him now and he’s picking up more and more, he’s growing into this man who could play anywhere.
“I’m looking forward to wherever he goes. I hope it is Arsenal, it would be a massive signing and a perfect fit.”
The Guardian recently reported that Rice is almost certain to leave West Ham this summer, with the midfielder hoping to compete at a higher level than his current club’s relegation scrap.
The same outlet suggested Rice is likely to join Arsenal, who are on the lookout for midfield reinforcements given their current batch of options are mostly entering their thirties.
The Telegraph reported last month that Rice remained a possible target for Chelsea this summer, but Arsenal are currently considered the favourites to sign him.
Speaking to The Athletic’s Handbrake Off podcast in February, Adrian Clarke revealed that Rice has been asking people about Arsenal.
“I can’t reveal my source,” Clarke began. “But I do know that Declan Rice has been sounding out people connected with Arsenal in regards to, ‘What’s it like there? What’s it really like?’, so that sounds like a positive.”
With Wilshere’s comments about having held conversations with Rice, perhaps he’s the source Clarke is referring to.
Rice isn’t going to come cheap this summer, however, with David Ornstein reporting that he could cost between £75m and £85m.