BUKAYO SAKA reportedly played a large role in convincing Arsenal’s record signing Declan Rice to join the club.
The former West Ham captain moved to the Emirates in a deal worth £105million this summer – a record fee for a British player.
But Gunners fans may owe another of their star players some thanks for his role in the transfer after he put in a good word for the club.
Saka, 22, revealed he used his close bond with ex-Hammer Rice to lure the midfielder into Mikel Arteta’s squad.
Saka told talkSPORT: “Obviously he’d ask a few questions and I’d answer them.
“But yeah, I’d just try to give him the reassurance that he’d be coming to the right club and that the future is exciting for us.”
“If he joined us, he’d make us better and that yeah, we can definitely achieve things.”
During the summer Saka had been working as Arteta’s secret weapon to try and convince Rice to make the switch across the capital.
Saka and Rice, 24, are both key men in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
Earlier this year fans started to spot the growing bond between the pair during Three Lions training sessions.
FREE BETS – BEST BETTING OFFERS AND BONUSES NEW CUSTOMERS
And Arsenal fans were convinced they were getting their man in March when Saka and Rice were spotted joking about the latter’s future with Gunners legend Ian Wright.
Then, following Arsenal’s dramatic 3-2 victory over Manchester United last season, Rice appeared to “like” a post on Bukayo Saka’s Instagram page.
The England midfielder has gone on to make a remarkable start for Arteta’s side.
Rice swung Arsenal’s game against Manchester United in the Gunners’ favour in added time on Sunday.
He scored his first goal for Arsenal from the edge of the box to put them 2-1 up, before Gabriel Jesus netted too to seal a 3-1 win.
An over-the-moon said after the game: “That was amazing, I think I’ve watched his goal back 20 times.
“It was an unbelievable moment for him and his family. Even the stadium, he said it was crazy when he felt the atmosphere.
“He’s right though, it’s really special to play there. I’m just happy he’s happy and that he’s performing, and he’s got his first goal as well.
“I don’t think there’s a better moment for him to get his first goal. So yeah, I’m happy for him.”