'Richarlison doesn’t get in Arsenal’s starting XI’ – £50m Spurs signing would be back-up for Gunners, claims Wilshere

Richarlison, Everton v Brentford, Premier League, 15052022Getty Images

Tottenham have splashed out £50 million ($61m) on Everton forward Richarlison, but former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere claims the Brazil international would only have been a back-up option on the other side in north London.

Antonio Conte is bolstering his ranks at Spurs after pipping their local rivals to fourth spot in the Premier League last season to qualify for the Champions League.

A proven Premier League performer at Goodison Park quickly emerged as a top target, following reports of interest from the Gunners in Richarlison at one stage, but Wilshere has suggested the 25-year-old South American would not make Mikel Arteta’s starting XI at Emirates Stadium.

Does Richarlison get in Arsenal’s team?

Wilshere told talkSPORT of Spurs’ capture of Richarlison: “I think he improves the squad, definitely, he gives them something different.

“I wouldn’t say I’m gutted [he’s not signed for Arsenal]. 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 Conte.

“I wouldn’t say I’m devastated as an Arsenal fan but he could be one to watch, he could be really good.”

Pressed on whether he would have liked the Brazil international at Arsenal, Wilshere 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.”

Who would Richarlison be behind at Arsenal?

Richarlison is capable of operating as a central striker, and the Gunners already have Eddie Nketiah to fill that role and are closing in on the £45m ($54m) signing of Brazil international frontman Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City.

When it comes to starting berths on the flanks, Arteta has England star Bukayo Saka as a left-footed option to use on either side.

Another Brazilian, Gabriel Martinelli, is also an option, while Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe provide added creativity.

Richarlison would have added depth to those ranks, as questions continue to be asked of how long Nicolas Pepe will be hanging around in north London, but there has been talk of Arsenal targeting other options on the wing after seemingly missing out on Leeds star Raphinha to London neighbours Chelsea.

Further reading