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Kit Rule Revealed: Why Declan Rice May Not Get His Dream Arsenal Shirt Number

by NaijNaira
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Kit Rule Revealed Why Declan Rice May Not Get His Dream Arsenal Shirt Number

Declan Rice, the West Ham United captain, is rumored to be close to signing a club-record deal with Arsenal.

The Gunners have reportedly submitted a bid of £100 million, with an additional £5 million in add-ons, for the England international.

Manchester City, who had previously made a £90 million bid, has withdrawn from the race.

The negotiations between Arsenal and West Ham are focused on the payment structure of the fee, with Arsenal proposing a four-year payment plan and West Ham preferring two instalments by 2025.

But if a deal is eventually sanctioned, Rice may not be able to don his preferred No.41 shirt number for Arsenal if Alex Iwobi’s previous comments are to be believed.

Iwobi wore the number 45 during his formative years with the Gunners but he was eventually asked to change to a ‘senior number’ instead, settling for 17 in the end.

Speaking about the switch on an Instagram live back in 2020, via the Liverpool Echo, the Nigerian international said: “I actually loved Big 45 when I came into the scene in the first place, it was a youth team number at Arsenal but they told me to change to a senior number, so the next available that was 17.

“Ever since then, it’s been that number and you’ve got to love it.” Rice will be hoping that the Gunners can make an exception for him, detailing why he likes to wear 41 last year.

When asked about the number during an episode of The Overlap, Rice told Gary Neville: “It was just a number I was given in the academy by the kitman, Jamo. When you’re in the U23s, you’ve obviously got the first-team squad numbers and then it starts to get to the higher numbers when you’re in the U23s.

“I remember when I went to Seattle on my first trip with the first team, I just got given 41 and you know what, it’s stayed with me since. To be honest with you, I’ve been having this conversation with my Dad, regardless of what happens in my career, I think I might stay with the 41.

“‘Rice 41’ has a nice ring to it and I’ve grown up playing in it. I’m a bit superstitious with things like that – I don’t know whether if I change to a new number, it would hamper my performances. I don’t know. I just think sometimes about a couple of things like that.”

This article was updated 3 months ago


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