Alan Shearer and Harry Redknapp have both praised Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice, insisting he has made a big difference to the Gunners this season.

The England star was signed from West Ham United over the summer in a deal worth £105million, the most Arsenal have ever spent on a player in their history.

It looks like money well spent, though, with Rice being one of the standout performers for Mikel Arteta’s side this season. Featuring 17 times already, the former Hammers captain has even pitched in with three goals and one assist.

Former Tottenham manager Redknapp selected both Rice and Gabriel Jesus in his team of the week following the Gunners’ 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at the weekend. The 76-year-old believes both will be crucial if Arsenal are to beat Jurgen Klopp’s side on Sunday.

Speaking to BetVictor, Redknapp said: “He didn’t score or assist, but Declan [Rice] ran the game against Brighton and continues to look like he’s been in this side for years. Next up for Arsenal, it’s Liverpool at Anfield.

“These are the games he was signed for,” Redknapp added.

“I love what Gabriel Jesus brings to this Arsenal side.

“Maybe he should score more goals, but the way he links the play and his work-rate, it’s exceptional. He got one against Brighton, a real poacher’s header at the back post. I’m a big fan of this lad.”

Shearer has also heaped praise on Rice. Writing in his BBC Sport column, the Newcastle legend said: “Liverpool’s draw left Arsenal in top spot, after their comfortable win over Brighton earlier in the day.

“It is clear the Gunners have improved from last season, when they pushed City close until the final few games, and it is Declan Rice who has made the biggest difference. I would go as far as saying he has been the stand-out signing from the summer, and the £100m he cost from West Ham looks like money well spent.

“Rice has made the Gunners more solid and also gives them an extra little bit of bite in midfield, but everything he does on the ball is top class as well. Arsenal haven’t been quite as exciting as they were last year going forward but, along with Liverpool, they have conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League so far and I think they will be delighted with the progress they have made.”