Arsenal are being strongly linked with a move for Raheem Sterling as his contract situation at Manchester City remains uncertain.
According to the Daily Star, the 26-year-old winger is in talks with City over signing a new deal with the club, but negotiations over an extension are moving slowly due to his wage demands.
Sterling, who is valued at £81million on football database Tranfermarkt, has just less than two years remaining on his contract with the Premier League champions and is being linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium.
The report claims that Mikel Arteta, who had an excellent relationship with the England international, has placed Sterling on his wish list.
So, where would Sterling fit in if he did make a move to the Gunners? football.london has taken a look at the difficult decision that could present Arteta in the future.
With Emile Smith Rowe, Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka all play really well at the moment, it is hard to see where the former Liverpool winger would fit in at Arsenal – but someone of his ability simply has to start for the Gunners.
This could mean a formation change, or even a different role for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Arsenal captain has also been linked with a move away from north London, so a chance to team up with Sterling may never present itself.
Odegaard, though, despite enjoying a fine start to life back at Arsenal after signing on a permanent basis over the summer, could be the man to make way for Sterling if he does sign.
Saka on the right, Smith Rowe in the middle and Sterling on the left – a full-English front trio behind Aubameyang, something that would no doubt surprise Arsenal supporters.
It does seem harsh on Odegaard, but at the same time, it is not like the Norway international will not be given his chances under Arteta with the congested fixture schedule.
It could, though, spell bad news for Nicolas Pepe – who has been on the bench for the Gunners’ past two Premier League matches.
If another winger arrives at the Emirates, it could push Pepe even further down the pecking order under Arteta. Likewise Gabriel Martinelli, who has barely featured this season.
Here is the XI Arteta could pick if Arsenal do manage to sign Sterling from Manchester City.
Possible XI (4-2-3-1): Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes, Kieran Tierney, Thomas Partey, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Raheem Sterling, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Source by Football London