Arsenal won the race to sign Rice in the summer transfer window as they agreed a £105 million deal with West Ham.
The Gunners had to fend off Chelsea’s and Manchester United’s persistent pursuit of Rice, while City made a £105 million bid for the England international to West Ham.
Rice, though, asserts that one of the main reasons he moved to north London was the chance to play for Arteta.
Rice responded to Channel 4 when asked what persuaded him to sign with Arsenal, “I have to say the manager, Mikel.”
“I think that as soon as I met him, I knew that he was the person I wanted to lead the next phase of my career,” I said.
‘Just the way he spoke, his aura, the way he sees the game, the way he wants to play football, and I think we’ve seen Arsenal play the previous two years, the way they’ve played as a team, is the way I really see myself fitting in,’ the player said.
“So far, that choice has been profitable. I truly feel at home. Since the first time I entered the building to the present, I’ve had a gut feeling that Arsenal would be the club.
When asked if the training standards had improved since he left West Ham, Rice responded, “Do you know what, towards the end of my time there the players we had were unbelievable.”
We had such excellent players on the team. The training was taken to a new level when [Gianluca] Scamacca and Lucas Paqueta joined us last summer.
The difference, I would say, is that the way I’m now having to play is much more advanced, much more forward thinking, where instead of sitting in a low block, counter-attacking, it’s much more winning the balls higher up the pitch, being more aggressive on that front. Of course, at Arsenal you see the season they had last year, and you just see the individuals they had, probably more national team players.
“I’ve always wanted to play at the highest level, to give everything I’ve got, and at Arsenal, that’s where I see myself doing that best, so that’s why I made that decision,” the player said.