Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes has admitted that Arsenal club-record signing is one of the toughest players he has faced in the Premier League.

Rice joined the Gunners for £105million during the summer transfer window, making him the most expensive signing in the club’s history. Since then, he has produced two hugely impressive performances during last week’s Community Shield clash against Manchester City, as well as the 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest in Saturday’s Premier League opener.

Now, United midfielder Fernandes has namechecked the England international as one of his most difficult opponents during an interview with Sky Sports’ Youtube Channel. When asked who his toughest opponent was, the Portuguese playmaker replied: “It is a difficult one.

“In the Premier League you play against top, top players. I can tell you (N’Golo) Kante was difficult, Rodri is really difficult, Declan Rice is really difficult.

“Declan and Rodri are physically really similar. Kante is more small but quick and sharp.”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was hugely impressed with Rice after the 24-year-old’s aforementioned performance against Forest, hailing the tough-tackling midfielder’s leadership after he was pictured directing his teammates throughout the game. “It’s very natural”, Arteta admitted when asked about the player’s leadership skills.

“You’ve seen him today, I don’t know if it was after two minutes or after 10, but the way he’s moving, the way he’s coaching and integrating in that dressing room I think he’s enjoying the position.

“He should have scored probably two goals today. So more of the same. He’s not thinking, he’s just acting and I’m really pleased with what he’s done.”