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REPORT: Liverpool would take Walcott and Gibbs for Sterling

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Would Arsenal, though?

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Dave Thompson/Getty Images

Raheem Sterling wants to leave Liverpool, and the club are trying their best to leverage that into something valuable. According to an ESPN report, for Manchester City that's a fee somewhere in the vicinity of £40 million. But for Arsenal, it's something that's either much more valuable or more expendable, depending on your perspective.

That same report claims that Liverpool will "only" sanction a Sterling deal if both Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs are included in the deal. The players would "fill gaps" in the team and add an injection of pace; this definitely makes sense from a Liverpool perspective, as the pair are good home-grown players.

From where I sit, this deal makes no sense for Arsenal, though. Well, perhaps not "no sense," but it's not one I expect we'd do. While neither is necessarily first choice at the moment, both are good players and still pretty young – not as young as Sterling, of course – and remain important parts of this Arsenal team. Paying a fee to get Raheem Sterling makes tons of sense. Sending one player and cash to get him also makes sense. Sending two first-choice-caliber players for one seems like a lot, to me. It's possible that Sterling could turn into something really special (hell, at this point it's even likely), but the uncertainty bothers me a little.

On the other hand, he's a versatile and highly skilled 20-year-old Englishman who's already made nearly a hundred appearances in the Premier League, at a top club. There's certainly an argument that he's worth two slightly older oft-injured players who don't start. I'm just not sure it's the argument that Arsene Wenger is going to agree with. I'm not sure I do, either.

If this is to happen, there are a lot of moving parts to deal with and a lot of things to sort out. Player swaps are a lot harder here than they are in, say, Major League Baseball. This is liable to be a Saga, so strap in.