’Statement signing’: Darren Bent backs Newcastle to sign ‘top-class’ star in European final

Darren Bent says if Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United secured Declan Rice’s transfer from West Ham United, then it would send out a ‘statement’. 

Ahead of next week’s Europa Conference League final, Declan Rice is set to play his final game for West Ham United and it might just end in the most perfect of fashions and that’s helping the Hammers win a major trophy for the first time since 1980.

Many are expecting his exit when the summer transfer window re-opens, with Bent thinking the ’top-class’ midfielder would fit right in with Newcastle United and Eddie Howe, as he told talkSPORT Drive (30/05/23 at 4:25 pm). 

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Given that the Magpies will be playing Champions League football next season, then such a transfer shouldn’t be ruled out.

It also needs to be noted that, other than Manchester City, not many teams can financially compete with the Saudi-owned club.

But it also comes down to what the player wants and he seems as though he could be heading to Arsenal, with Bent talking about a possible move to St James’ Park instead. 

“If he (Rice) goes to Newcastle, then what happens with Bruno Guimaraes,” asked Bent. “Or will they play together? 

“When you think about Newcastle and the re-build. You want a statement signing at Newcastle and someone that’s going to take them to the next level.

“But could Eddie Howe deal with a level of expectations and attitude when it comes to that next level? 

“Well, Declan is the complete opposite of that. Top-class player. The right attitude. He’s not going to give you any problems, if ever Newcastle wanted to make a statement signing, then there is one.”

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That has been one of Newcastle’s biggest strengths and a big reason behind their top-four finish.

The power, control and no-nonsense quality their midfield showcased this season was just too hot to handle for many.

Add Rice into the mix and he probably starts ahead of Joelinton and instantly complements that attacking flair to Bruno Guimaraes’ game.

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