Kobbie Mainoo delivers verdict on Declan Rice's £105m move to Arsenal

  • Mainoo has praised England teammate Rice after England's Euro 2024 opener
  • Manchester United teenager hopes to play alongside Arsenal star more often
  • Three Lions continue Euros charge on Thursday against Denmark
Mainoo has praised his teammate Rice
Mainoo has praised his teammate Rice / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

England midfielder Kobbie Mainoo claimed international teammate Declan Rice was 'worth every penny' following last summer's £105m move to Arsenal from West Ham United.

The Three Lions kicked off their Euro 2024 campaign on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Serbia. Rice started the fixture in central midfield, partnered with Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold. Mainoo was introduced from the bench in the final stages of the game, swapping places with goalscorer Jude Bellingham.

Rice received heaps of praise for his role in the opening game, controlling possessional and playing in the likes of Bellingham and Bukayo Saka ahead of him.

Much was made of Rice's transfer to Arsenal last summer, but he has come on leaps and bounds in the last 12 months and remains an integral part of the England setup.

Rice's debut season with Arsenal proved successful, making 51 appearances while registering seven goals and ten assists.

Mainoo told reporters on Tuesday: "Dec is such a good player, reliable and dominate in the midfield. When I get to play with him, it's always a joy to have someone so strong with the ball next to you.

Declan Rice
Rice impressed in England's opener / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

"Everyone knows he's worth every penny, he's such a good player. He's proved it in the Premier League and internationally. [Playing alongside Rice], it frees me up a lot and allows me to go forward and attack and trust that he's there. It's a dream."

The spot next to Rice in England's midfield has been the talk of the Three Lions' Euro 2024 so far, with some suggesting that Mainoo should step in ahead of Alexander-Arnold.

If the Manchester United teenager does take the spot in the centre of the pitch, Alexander-Arnold could take the right-back role, where he excels for Liverpool.

The Three Lions continue their Euros journey on Thursday when they face Denmark in their second game of the group stage.