Raheem Sterling is reportedly on the Arsenal radar as they look to capitalise on his current situation with Manchester City.
The England international has struggled to cement his place in Pep Guardiola’s plans since the arrival of Jack Grealish as well as the solid form of Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus.
He was introduced as a second-half substitute in the enthralling draw with Liverpool on Sunday but in the 24 minutes he featured, managing just 11 touches as City pushed for a winning goal.
It was his seventh appearance this season but made his fifth off the bench at Anfield. Despite talks “slowly” progressing at the Etihad over extending his stay beyond his current contract, the Gunners are reportedly looking to snatch the Euro 2020 star according to the Daily Mirror.
Sterling worked under Arteta during the Spaniard’s time as assistant manager where the pair won a number of major accolades including the Premier League.
But they must learn from the failure surrounding the signing of Willian from Chelsea which resulted in the Brazilian pushing to be relieved of his contract in order to force a move back to his native county.
He departed with two years remaining on his deal in North London saving the Gunners an estimated £20.5m after suffering from torrid form following his move from the Blues last summer.
His arrival offered hope and flair alongside the flamboyant and fierce partnership of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette but in turn his move coincided with a passive, answer-less Arsenal side which had to settle for a mediocre eighth-place finish in the Premier League.
“[Arteta is] a person that had a lot of say here [at Man City]. The manager trusted him here and he had a lot of influence on the players here and the team as well,” Sterling said previously, speaking highly of the former Arsenal midfielder in October.
“So I knew once he went into Arsenal that it would be a great opportunity for him but also he would definitely implement what he wanted to bring in.
“And he’s a person that will put his foot down and not let things slide as you can see with the boys at Arsenal. They know if they don’t run they are most likely not going to play.”
The 26-year-old featured heavily under Guardiola last season, captaining the Sky Blues on a number of occasions throughout the season, as he established himself as one of their key figures in reclaiming the Premier League crown scoring 10 goals in 31 appearances on course to finishing 12 points clear of rivals Manchester United.
But whilst he shows glimpses of quality and boasts spells of good form, despite the difference in age, a pursuit of Sterling could replicate the failings similar to Willian.
Edging towards his peak years, he already has a wealth and taste for success but although he isn’t on a downward spiral as such, meeting his wage and Manchester City’s transfer demands, it could leave an unnecessary hole in the pot and take away opportunities from the likes of Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli to name a few.
Irrespective of his experience or previous performances for England and his club, his move wouldn’t fit the mould and philosophy of what Mikel Arteta is trying to implement on the Arsenal side.
Saka and Smith Rowe have been instrumental this season, with time and experience under Arteta could see them flourish, with that example in mind those coming through the Hale End ranks; Ryan Alebiosu, Omari Hutchinson and Kido Taylor-Hart could see their pathways to the first team blocked by his introduction.
After a slow, stuttering start to his tenure as manager, the former midfielder’s philosophy is slowly being stamped on the first team and undoubtedly have its mark on the youth ranks playing the Arteta way. This summer saw the shrewd business of Takehiro Tomiyasu, Aaron Ramsdale and Martin Odegaard come into the ranks as well as the big-money move for Ben White, the murmurs surrounding the Sterling interest seem to be against the grain.
Pursuing the interest may spark another damaging loss similar to the case of the recently departed 33-year-old.
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Source by Football London