Sam Allardyce has suggested what nobody talks about when it comes to Declan Rice, as he reflected on what he thought when watching the Arsenal star live for the first time.

Despite the huge transfer fee which took him to the Emirates, there is surely no question that Declan Rice has been an absolutely outstanding signing for the Gunners.

The 25-year-old has barely missed a minute in the Premier League. And it is remarkable how quickly he has settled into Mikel Arteta‘s side.

Rice has been so important to the balance of the Arsenal side. And he has formed an outstanding understanding with the likes of William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes and Jorginho. It should also noted that Rice has scored a number of vital goals for the Premier League leaders. But perhaps his form should not come as a surprise.

Rice had an amazing knack of stepping up to every challenge put in front of him at West Ham. And by the time he had left, he had lifted a European trophy in what would prove to be his final appearance for the club.

But speaking on No Tippy Tappy Football, Sam Allardyce suggested that not enough is said about the fact that Rice started in the backline.

“By the way, started as a centre-half. Pushed him into midfield, probably because they needed him there. And nobody talks about where he was brought up. Most of the players start up [front], and you end up somewhere along the line. It’s not often they go from [defence] to [midfield]. And he’s handled it brilliantly,” he said.

“I watched him for the last game but one at Leeds, and I saw him live for the first time, and I’m on the touchline and thought, ‘oh god, no’. He battered us in midfield, just overran us.”