Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said that midfielder Declan Rice is “likely” to be part of the squad for his first return to West Ham United in the upcoming Carabao Cup clash. Rice, who made a high-profile move to the Gunners in the summer, is expected to receive a warm welcome at the London Stadium.
Arteta described the return as a “beautiful moment” for Rice, hinting that the 24-year-old would likely feature in some capacity during the fourth-round tie. The Gunners boss did however also suggest widespread changes in the squad to manage the demanding schedule of Premier League and Champions League fixtures.
“It will be his first time back at his old club and a beautiful moment for him, I think,” said Arteta. “I think it is beautiful. I had a chance to do it a few times and then you really see what they think of you and what you left at the club.”
Arsenal, looking to make a more substantial impact in the Carabao Cup this season, are expected to nonetheless rotate their squad in order to rest key players amidst a demanding schedule.
The Gunners were eliminated early in last season’s competition, suffering defeat at the hands of Brighton at the Emirates. The trophy has been one that has long eluded Arsenal, with their last triumph in the competition coming in 1993.