Mikel Arteta has praised the impact of Declan Rice since the midfielder signed for Arsenal in a club-record deal last summer.
Rice has made a strong start to his career with the Gunners after completing a £105m move from West Ham, with the England international having scored a stunning long-range goal to kickstart Arsenal’s comeback at Chelsea last weekend.
Arteta has been delighted with the impact of the 24-year-old, who he believes has shown he is capable of performing ‘at the highest level in big games’.
“He’s been terrific for us and has performed at the highest level in big games,” Arteta said at his pre-match press conference ahead of facing Sheffield United.
“That’s what you want from him. His contribution in these games has been really important so I’m really pleased.”
Arsenal remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season, ahead of facing a Sheffield United side who are winless and rooted to the bottom.
However, Arteta insists he will be taking nothing for granted against the Blades and is anticipating a ‘tricky game’ against Paul Heckingbottom’s struggling side.
“The way they have played against all the other teams has been strong, they’re clung on and then it’s been late goals conceded.
“They are fighting for their lives so it will be a tricky game.
“Everyone is on their toes, they know what is coming and I was very clear with them.”