England's Declan Rice and Ben White during a training session at St George's Park, Burton-upon-Trent. Picture date: Friday March 25, 2022.

Rice next? The last 6 England internationals signed by Arsenal – & how they fared

Arsenal will reportedly table a third bid in their quest to sign Declan Rice from West Ham United. The 24-year-old would become the club’s record signing and just the seventh England international to join them in the Premier League era. 

Homegrown talent like Bukayo Saka and Ashley Cole have represented the Three Lions with distinction, while others including Aaron Ramsdale and Theo Walcott were handed their international bows after signing for the Gunners.

We’ve taken a closer look at the six England internationals signed by Arsenal in the Premier League and how they subsequently fared in North London.

Ben White

Having caught the eye with a starring role on loan at Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United as they achieved promotion from the Championship, White returned to parent club Brighton and proved himself adept at top-level football in 2020-21.

That form for the Seagulls resulted in the versatile defender receiving recognition in a number of ways. He was named in the preliminary squad for Euro 2020 – replacing the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold in the tournament squad – and made his debut in a friendly victory over Austria.

The following month White joined Arsenal for a £50million fee. He adapted to right-back superbly in Arsenal’s surprise 2022-23 title charge, but only three further England caps have followed his 2021 debut.

Danny Welbeck

One of those players that’s loved everywhere he’s been, both Arsenal and Manchester United fans sigh with frustration at what might’ve been were it not for recurring injury issues.

The Red Devils academy graduate has a very respectable record of 16 goals from 42 England caps, but he hasn’t represented the Three Lions since departing the Emirates in 2019.

Welbeck’s time on the treatment table left him a mixed legacy at the Emirates but he’ll always have that goal against Leicester.

Sol Campbell

Campbell had very much established himself as a first-choice England regular while at Tottenham, with over half of 73 Three Lions caps earned when he was still representing his boyhood club.

The centre-back made arguably the most controversial move in Premier League history by joining Arsenal in 2001. It’s safe to say he was a success at Highbury, with the highlight being his key part in the Invincibles’ triumph of 2003-04.

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Richard Wright

Ipswich-born Wright made over 250 appearances for the Tractor Boys and was one of their standout players as they qualified for the UEFA Cup with a fifth-place finish as a newly-promoted club in 2000-01.

The goalkeeper was handed his England debut by Kevin Keegan in June 2000, in which he gave away two penalties in a friendly against Malta but redeemed himself by saving one in a 2-1 win. He went to Euro 2000 as third-choice behind future Arsenal team-mate David Seaman and Nigel Martyn but only received one further cap.

He signed for Arsenal for a £2million fee in 2001 but failed to dislodge Seaman and only spent one season in north London, beginning a phase of his career that was largely spent as a bench-warmer.

David Platt

Platt had already enjoyed a decent, well-travelled career by the time he arrived at Arsenal as a 29-year-old in the summer of 1995.

Signed from Sampdoria, the midfielder had already represented England at two major tournaments – and had an excellent goalscoring record on the international stage – and had racked up plenty of experience with Crewe, Aston Villa, Bari and Juventus at club level.

Platt spent three years at Arsenal and demonstrated his class in their unforgettable double-winning campaign of 1997-98 before moving on to wind down his career at Nottingham Forest.

Martin Keown

Hale End alumni Keown made his Arsenal debut in 1984, eight years before he featured on the international stage with England – but that was between his two stints with the Gunners.

The centre-back made over 200 appearances for Aston Villa and Everton and had developed his game considerably – by the time he returned to Highbury in 1993, at which point he was establishing himself as an England regular.

Keown spent 11 years at Arsenal the second time around, a spell that saw him lift three Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the Cup Winners’ Cup.

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