Declan Rice hits back at past criticism of his goalscoring record

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Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice believes the criticism from the likes of Roy Keane of his scoring record before joining the North Londoners was not fair.

The former Manchester United captain also questioned the £105 million the Gunners spent on the England international. He insisted last August that Arsenal overpaid for his services.

Rice has since proven Keane and co wrong. He has six goals and seven assists in 35 Premier League appearances for the league leaders. The deep-lying midfielder has also put in some excellent performances all along this season.

Rice believes his criticism is not fair

The 25-year-old will be looking forward to adding more goals and assists to his tally. Rice believes he has kept Keane and his other detractors quiet.

“No, not really,” the Arsenal star told The Athletic when asked if he thought the criticism of his scoring record was fair.

“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.

“But since I’ve been scoring, no one has said anything!”

Criticizing Rice for goals is hypocritical when coming from Keane

Keane only scored 51 goals in 480 appearances for Man United. Rice already is on course to surpass that record despite ending his time at West Ham with 15 goals in 245 games.

He is proving to be the perfect box-to-box midfielder at Arsenal and more goals and assists should be expected from him in the coming seasons. Scoring goals is not his primary job, and he has been excellent at doing what he knows how to do best.

Rice has arguably been the best midfielder in the Premier League this term and will only keep getting better under Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.

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