Arteta cleared for Arsenal return, as City plan £100m spree to catch Liverpool - Paper Round
Raheem Sterling has been axed by England after a training ground fight, Manchester City plan to replace club stalwarts, Mikel Arteta could be heading back to Arsenal and James Maddison is set to make his England debut. It's Tuesday's Paper Round...
Sterling dropped by England after Gomez bust-up
Paper Round's view: It's such a shame to see club rivalries affecting the England camp. The positive atmosphere around the squad has made the national team so much more likable since Gareth Southgate was hired back in 2016. You hear stories from former internationals of past England squads which were filled with talented players, but club rivalries and cliques stopped the players from becoming more than just international team-mates. Southgate has handled the situation very well and he will be hoping it is a one-off incident that won't affect the Three Lions' tournament preparation ahead of next summer's European Championships.
City set for £100m spending spree to keep up with Liverpool
Manchester City are preparing to dip into the transfer market as they look to replace club stalwarts and chase down Liverpool. According to the Mail, City are set to target a new centre-back in replacement of Vincent Kompany - who left last summer - and long-term replacements for David Silva and Sergio Aguero. Silva is likely to leave at the end of the current season with his contract expiring, but Aguero still has time left on his deal. City are looking to spend at least £100 million in total on the new defender and central-midfielder.
Paper Round's view: Manchester City can't just keep throwing money at their problems. It was expected that they would miss Kompany after 11 years of service, but they were foolish not to replace him last summer. They obviously look short of defensive options now, with midfielder Fernandinho filling in for the injured Aymeric Laporte at centre-back. Despite this, they have a ready-made replacement for David Silva in Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus - on his day - can be a world-class striker. The club don't need to go out and buy more attacking options when it's very clear that their main issue is their disastrous defence.
Arteta's potential return to Arsenal won't be blocked
Manchester City assistant manager Mikel Arteta will be allowed by the club to go back to Arsenal if the Gunners approach him to replace Unai Emery as the new boss, according to the Sun. The Spaniard spent five seasons at the Emirates Stadium, two as club captain, before being appointed as assistant at Premier League rivals Manchester City by compatriot Pep Guardiola upon his retirement back in 2016. The 37-year-old was reportedly on Arsenal's managerial shortlist of Arsene Wenger replacements, but the club eventually went with Unai Emery. The Arsenal boss has been struggling so far this season and the Gunners are reported to be lining up Arteta as a potential replacement.
Paper Round's view: Arsenal didn't want to take the risk on Arteta back in 2018, but their final decision wasn't much of a success in the end. The north London club are in turmoil at the moment and Emery is losing control. Arteta has slowly been learning his trade under one of the best managers in football at the moment in Guardiola, which is what makes him such an appealing prospect. He knows Arsenal well and any change from Emery now would be welcomed by most fans of the Gunners. It wouldn't be the worst idea in the world...
Maddison to be handed England debut
Finally, some good news from the England camp is that James Maddison is set to be handed his debut international cap this week. According to the Telegraph, the Leicester City midfielder will "almost certainly" make his first appearance for the Three Lions during the current international break, whether it be against Montenegro on Thursday or Kosovo on Sunday. Maddison's chances for a start will be boosted for the Montenegro match at Wembley due to Ross Barkley pulling out of the squad with injury and Jordan Henderson missing out through suspension.
Paper Round's view: It's honestly been surprising to see Maddison stay uncapped for so long. The 22-year-old received his first senior call-up to the England squad back in October 2018, but is yet to feature for the Three Lions. His current form is making it impossible for Southgate to ignore him and his playing style could enhance the England midfield. His quality on dead-balls and his creative flair could be a game-changer for this England side and it wouldn't be shocking to see Maddison pushing to be a starter for next summer's European Championships.