‘Rice has shocked me – his impact under more pressure at Arsenal is surprising’

Arsenal legend David Seaman says he's "shocked" by how much of an impact Declan Rice has had on his old side this season.

The England ace joined the Gunners from West Ham for an eye-watering £105million in the summer and has looked worth every penny after producing strong performances week after week at the heart of Mikel Arteta's midfield. Seaman, who spent 13 years between the sticks at Highbury, says he's been impressed by how quickly Rice has adapted to his new club, especially given the weight of expectation that comes with playing for Arsenal.

"He has made [Arsenal] even better, by a long way," the 60-year-old told Betway. "If I’m honest, I’m surprised as to how much of an impact he’s had. The way that he’s playing has shocked me, I suppose.

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"I’ve seen him do it with England, I’ve seen him do it with West Ham, but then doing it with Arsenal is a little bit different," Seaman added. "The pressure is there, but he just goes out there and plays, which is what I love to see.

"The impact that he’s had has been brilliant because it’s not just him that’s playing well, he’s upped the ante of everybody else as well. He’s gone in there, not just out on the pitch but at training, he’s showing how good he is and it lifts the players."

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Rice, 24, has been Arsenal's standout player so far this season. His performances have been consistently top notch and he's pitched in with a few vital goals too. He's netted injury time winners against both Manchester United and Luton, and his goal against Chelsea sparked a late Arsenal comeback which earned them a draw.

Speaking of consistent, top notch performances, Seaman's 564-game stint at Arsenal earned him a reputation as one of the finest keepers in English football history. He won three Premier League/First Division titles with Arsenal, as well as four FA Cups and the League Cup. Frustratingly, he left the club in 2003 and missed out on their Invincibles season.

Just five Arsenal players racked up more appearances than Seaman, who joined the club from QPR in 1990. His form for the north Londoners helped establish him as England's No. 1 following Peter Shilton's retirement. He ended up earning 75 caps for his country, and represented them at four major tournaments between 1996 and 2002.

He retired from international duty after England were dumped out of the 2002 World Cup by Brazil. Seaman took much of the blame for his side's exit after being infamously lobbed with a long-distance free-kick by Ronaldinho during the game.

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He left Arsenal the following year and spent half-a-season at Manchester City before hanging up his gloves in 2004, aged 40.

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