A potential swap deal between both Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola for Alexis Sanchez and Raheem Sterling could still be reignited in January.
Think back to the deadline day, when rumors were floating around that Arsenal was willing to swap Alexis Sanchez for Man City’s winger Raheem Sterling plus cash. While it certainly was a weird deal and was shot down immediately by Pep Guardiola, according to reports it could still be on. But Arsene Wenger has been accused of “tapping up” the 22-year-old following the weeks after deadline day by talkSPORT presenter.
According to The Mirror and Arsenal correspondent John Cross, the Gunners boss is a keen admirer of Raheem Sterling and “an approach for him could hold the key to Alexis Sanchez’s future”. However, while Manchester City is more than confident of securing the Chilean’s signature, it’s the competition they should worry about.
With the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United and even Chelsea in the mix, using the January Transfer window could help Guardiola. Alexis Sanchez is in his final year of his deal with Arsenal and looked every bit like a player unhappy against Doncaster in the Carabao Cup. But it’s worth adding that the Chilean is still not fully fit. He has, however, been an outstanding player for Arsenal, scoring 73 goals and 42 assists in just 149 appearances for the Gunners.
Raheem Sterling, on the other hand, is not quite as good as the Chilean and cannot match up to those numbers. But the English international did score 10 goals and provided 21 assists in all competitions last season and has already scored 3 goals in four appearances despite playing only 57 minutes in the first two games.
In an interview, talkSPORT presenter Alan Brazil was rather irritated with Arsene Wenger saying “Is that not tapping up? The window’s shut now so we shouldn’t be talking about this until January, should we? And Arsene Wenger’s always winging about tapping up.”
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) September 22, 2017
Pep Guardiola further added “Sterling didn’t call me because it wasn’t an issue. Never. I think I tried to help him since I arrived, his mood when I arrived was not at the top and last season he played really good.
It was not debatable among the important people at the club – Txiki, Ferran, many people – it was never considered that we would swap him. That was not an option.”
With Arsene Wenger’s history of developing youth players into classy stars, the move wouldn’t be the worst thing for Raheem Sterling. However, the 22-year-old is certainly flourishing under Pep Guardiola, who is also amazing with young players. But moving to Arsenal could be the test that Sterling needs to prove himself, something similar to what Neymar did, and it could be the boost that Arsenal themselves need.