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Jack Wilshere: 'Richarlison wouldn't get into Arsenal XI'

Wilshere: 'Richarlison wouldn't get into Arsenal XI'
© Reuters
Jack Wilshere says that new Tottenham Hotspur signing Richarlison would not get into Arsenal's starting lineup this season.

Jack Wilshere has insisted that Richarlison would not have been guaranteed a starting spot in the Arsenal XI this season.

The Gunners have been linked with a number of Brazilian forwards in recent weeks, including Richarlison who had expressed a desire to leave Everton.

However, it was confirmed on Friday morning that Tottenham Hotspur had won the race to sign the 25-year-old in a deal which could reach £60m.

Although Arsenal are still said to be on the brink of signing Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City, losing out to their North London rivals will be perceived to be a disappointment by many supporters.

That is not the case with Wilshere, however, who feels that Richarlison would have had to settle for a place on the substitutes' bench on occasions had he moved to the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere in action during his side's Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid on April 26, 2018© Reuters

Speaking to talkSPORT, the former Gunners midfielder said: "I think he [Richarlison] improves the squad, definitely, he gives them something different. I wouldn't say I'm gutted.

"He's 25, so not young. There comes a point where you're going to have to turn that potential into something but to be fair if any one can do it, it's Antonio Conte. I wouldn't say I'm devastated as an Arsenal fan but he could be one to watch, he could be really good.

When quizzed on whether he would have preferred Arsenal to sign Richarlison, the Englishman added: "Yeah but I don't think he gets in the XI. He'd definitely challenge for it and be a good part of the squad but I don't think he gets in the XI."

In his 172 Premier League appearances for Watford and the Toffees, Richarlison has contributed 48 goals and 18 assists, but his performances during last-season's run-in helped keep the former in the top flight.

Everton's Richarlison celebrates their first goal scored by Alex Iwobi on March 17, 2022© Reuters

In total, the versatile attacker contributed 10 strikes and five assists from his 30 outings in what was the most influential campaign of his career.

Richarlison will arrive at Spurs as direct competition to the likes of Dejan Kulusevski and Son Heung-min, potentially having to make do with a spot on the substitutes' bench on the opening weekend given the impact of his rivals for a place on the flank last season.

At Arsenal, Richarlison would have been attempting to get ahead of the likes of Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe to feature in Mikel Arteta's starting lineup.

Jesus is expected to be regarded as first choice down the middle should he complete his transfer to North London, while wideman Bukayo Saka has cemented his spot in the final third.

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