Arsenal have all it takes to break Manchester City's stranglehold on the Premier League and Declan Rice can establish himself as a world class midfielder if deployed further up the pitch, according to Gunners legend Lauren.
Mikel Arteta's men led the title race for the majority of last season, but eventually fell short of winning the Premier League for the first time since 2004 as City pipped them to the post.
It was a tough pill to swallow for Arsenal, who broke the record for spending the most number of days on top of the league in a top flight season in England without winning the title.
If last season was a statement of intent, the Gunners underlined their ambitions in the summer by investing a combined £200million on Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber.
Over half of that outlay went on Rice, who swapped the London Stadium for the Emirates for a club record £105m.
Having played alongside the likes of Patrick Vieira and Cesc Fabregas, Lauren is well versed when it comes to world class midfielders and title-winning teams.
And so far he's been impressed with the England international.
'He's a player that has already been playing at the highest level with England and with West Ham,' Lauren, speaking on behalf of 888sport, tells Mail Sport.
'He's young, but he already has a lot of experience.
'His performances since the beginning of the season are not a surprise, he's a top class player. I'm not surprised to see him performing so well.'
Rice opened his account for Arsenal as his team scored twice deep into injury time to beat Manchester United 3-1 before the international break.
The goal was something of a rarity for the 24-year-old, who had found the net just 10 times in 204 Premier League appearances up until then.
GraemeRead on m.allfootballapp.com