The news has come as a shock to many West Ham supporters, who have seen Rice progress from the Academy of Football at Chadwell Heath to become a key player for the club.
Rice, a 24-year-old midfielder, made a total of 245 senior appearances for the Hammers, including their recent UEFA Europa Conference League victory in Prague.
He began his Claret and Blue journey as a 14-year-old in 2013, and his impressive performances on the pitch quickly caught the attention of the football world.
Winner of the Hammer of the Year award three times, in 2020, 2022 and 2023, and runner-up in 2018 and 2019, Rice made his full England debut in March 2019 and has since gone on to win 43 caps.
He was named West Ham United Club Captain in the summer of 2022 following the retirement of Mark Noble, and he helped David Moyes’s team secure only the second major European trophy in the Club’s history.
Joint-Chair David Sullivan expressed his disappointment at Rice’s departure, saying that the club had made a series of improved, long-term contract offers to try to secure his future.
However, once Rice made it clear that he wanted to move on and seek a new challenge, the club felt that it would not be right to stand in his way.
Sullivan also praised Rice for his contribution to the club, saying that he had earned his place in history alongside the great Bobby Moore and Billy Bonds as the only players to have captained West Ham United to a major trophy.
He added that Rice would always be an inspiration and an example to any young player coming through the club’s Academy.
Manager David Moyes also thanked Rice for everything he had done during his time at West Ham United, saying that it was sad to say goodbye to someone who had been with the club for so long.
However, he added that the club’s entire focus now was on building upon the success they enjoyed last season, adding to their talented UEFA Europa Conference League title-winning squad, and continuing to develop the best young talent through their successful Academy.
Rice’s move to Arsenal marks a significant new chapter in his career, and it remains to be seen how he will fare with his new team.
However, there is no doubt that he will be missed by West Ham United and their fans, who will always remember him as one of the club’s greatest young talents.