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Garth Crooks raves about ‘pure genius’ Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice

Garth Crooks has showered praise on Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice in his Team of the Week column for BBC Sport

The Gunners earned a 1-0 win against Brentford away from home and moved to the top of the Premier League.

Rice – who joined on a big-money deal during the summer transfer window from West Ham – has been outstanding for the north London club so far.

He has put in another strong performance, and Crooks particularly liked the way he covered Aaron Ramsdale to make a goalline clearance.

The BBC pundit says Rice is already proving to be an “influential” player similar to what Martin Odegaard did last season and has hailed him as a “pure genius”.

“Mikel Arteta can whittle on all he likes about keeping a clean sheet and the professionalism of his team’s performance against Brentford but Arsenal got away with this win,” wrote Crooks.

“The way Declan Rice spotted that Aaron Ramsdale was in some difficulty, got behind his goalkeeper and positioned himself perfectly to clear the ball off the line was pure genius. Rice is proving to be as influential as Martin Odegaard proved to be for the Gunners last season.”

Could this be Arsenal’s year?

The Gunners finished second in the league last season as Manchester City won the title. They are a lot better team now, and the addition of Declan Rice has made a lot of difference.

Rice has been playing at a top level for the last three years or so, and he is expected to enjoy his prime years at the north London club.

He can play a key role in helping the club win the title this season, although it won’t be easy. City are looking strong once again, while Liverpool can also challenge for the title.

Tottenham and Aston Villa are also in the mix as well.

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