Arsenal spent a record £105 million fee to sign Declan Rice last summer, making him the most expensive English player ever.
The 24-year-old’s excellent start to life at the Emirates Stadium has proved the Gunners have made the right investment.
Rice’s performances are one of the main reasons the Londoners are now sitting at the top of the Premier League standings.
He has netted two goals in 14 league matches, averaging 1.9 tackles, 1.6 interceptions, 1.6 clearances, 1.2 shots and 2.9 long balls per game.
That accolade belongs to Manchester City star Rodri – a £62.6m acquisition from Atletico Madrid in 2019.
Despite missing two league matches due to red card suspension, the Spaniard has scored three goals and provided three assists in 12 outings. He has also posted better numbers across several categories than Rice.
For example, Rodri has made greater progressive carries, forward passes and forward pass percentage than his English counterpart this season.
The 27-year-old is also ahead of Rice in the categories of key passes and progressive passes, though the latter is better in defensive actions and the percentage of duels won.
Statistics don’t tell the whole story and we should be careful in judging a player’s performance solely on numbers.
However, we can use them for a good idea about their impact for the respective teams.
Erling Braut Haaland has been grabbing all the headlines since he arrived at the Etihad Stadium last summer. But Rodri has been just as important in the Cityzens’ recent successes.
The defensive midfielder featured in 36 matches in the Premier League last term, with eight goal contributions to his name.
He averaged 1.9 tackles, 1.2 clearances, 0.9 key passes, and 1.4 shots per game (as per WhoScored).
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