‘I don’t know why’ – Declan Rice hits back at Roy Keane and other pundits over Arsenal criticism

Declan Rice has been criticised for his lack of goals in the past, but the Arsenal midfielder has hit back at the pundits who have questioned his goalscoring ability

Declan Rice nudged Roy Keane when asked about previous criticism

Arsenal’s Declan Rice has responded to criticism from Roy Keane and other pundits who have questioned his goal-scoring ability. The England international, who was often criticised for his lack of goals during his time at West Ham, has been targeted by the likes of Keane, Graeme Souness and Jamie Redknapp.

Keane, the former Manchester United captain, had previously suggested that Rice needed to contribute more in terms of goals and assists to be considered among the top players. This critique came despite Rice’s move to Arsenal in a £105million deal, where he has since scored six goals and provided eight assists in 35 Premier League appearances – already surpassing his tally at West Ham last season.

Rice, however, believes the criticism is unjustified, reports the Mirror. Speaking to The Athletic, he said: “No, not really. Because Roy Keane, (Graeme) Souness, (Jamie) Redknapp, people that talk about my goalscoring ability, if you looked at their goals, they didn’t score hundreds in their career.

“But they’re remembered for what they did as midfield players: Roy Keane breaking up play, being a hard-tackling midfielder, won loads of titles for United.

“The same with Souness. So I don’t know why when it comes to me it’s all about goals, because it’s never been my game. Since I’ve been scoring, no one has said anything!”

Previously responding to Keane’s critiques in a good-humoured manner, Rice engaged with the Sky Sports stalwart after netting a goal against United. In a post-match exchange, the 25-year-old quipped: “What do you reckon Roy?”

In response, Keane retorted: “Own goal.” It seemed the ball had slightly deflected following Rice’s shot.

Accepting he’d grown more relentless when taking aim at the net, Rice conceded: “The old me would’ve set that back for a cross not going to lie.

“At a younger age, I would’ve played that back to (Fabio) Vieira. But last minute of the game, fine margins and if you don’t shoot you don’t score.”

 

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