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'My position has changed a lot'

Declan Rice in action for Arsenal
Declan Rice in action for Arsenal

Declan Rice says he is "enjoying being flexible" in his playing position for both Arsenal and England.

During his career so far, the midfielder has been mostly used in a defensive position, since his move to the Gunners in the summer he has also been deployed in a number eight role.

It is a position the former West Ham captain has capitalised on, scoring six goals and making eight assists.

"I have been playing consistently well throughout the season," said Rice. "My position has changed a lot since I was at West Ham.

"In a positional sense, it is closer to what Gareth wants here. There is still room for improvement and things I can get better at, but I'm enjoying being flexible.

"They are two completely different roles. The way Mikel wants his six to play is completely different to his eight. At times when I have been playing recently, I have been highest up the pitch, which is unnatural to me but I am learning.

"My strongest position is six - I've built my career on that - but when Mikel says he wants to me to play eight I am excited to get up the pitch, score goals and drive with the ball. Luckily, I can play both, but there are still areas of improvement in both."

Rice's ability in both positions gives the Three Lions more options heading into Euro 2024 and is something England boss Gareth Southgate feels can help the side.

"It's brilliant for him [Rice], it is something he is capable of," Southgate said. "He is a good finisher - we have seen that in training sessions we have had.

"We know he can playing more a advanced role but he has improved a lot at six [through] training with great players every day and having great coaches. You can see his game maturing."