Merson says this Walcott - Sterling swap would be 'deal of the century'

The Arsenal favourite thought Liverpool would have done great business if they end up with the Gunners winger.

Paul Merson has told Sky Sports that if Liverpool manage to bring in Theo Walcott and cash for Raheem Sterling they would have completed the 'best deal ever.'

The Gunners legend was discussing one of the more outlandish transfer suggestions of recent times, that has arisen as a result of Raheem Sterling's decision to put contract talks with Liverpool on hold while Arsenal forward Theo Walcott continues to struggle to get in Arsene Wenger's side after recovering from a major knee injury.

“If Theo Walcott goes to Liverpool, Raheem Sterling goes to Arsenal and Liverpool get some money, I think Liverpool have had the best deal ever," said Merson.

“If he goes to Arsenal, will he play? I don’t think he’s an Arsenal player. I don’t think he gets his head up or moves the ball quick enough.”

Former Southampton man Walcott has just 13 appearances to his name this season, having gradually built up fitness after the knee injury he suffered in January 2014. But with just one appearance in the last seven league games, the 26-year-old has had to make do with a backup role at the Emirates despite his recovery, even though he has been fit enough to take a place on the bench.

Sterling on the other hand has spent much of the season as Liverpool's main man. With Daniel Sturridge injured and out of form, and Luis Suarez departed, Brendan Rodgers has often picked the 20-year-old as the central figure in his Reds attack. The youngster, who is set to start against Newcastle on Monday night, has responded with 10 goals and 9 assists for the Merseyside outfit.

But Merson may just feel that a Walcott with a point to prove, and still with his best years ahead of him, would be a more than viable alternative to Sterling for Liverpool, who may come in for criticism from the Anfield faithful if his performances drop as a result of his contract snub.

“It’s unbelievable, Liverpool, one of the biggest clubs in the world are offering him £100,000-a-week and he’s turning it down... not for me,” the 47-year-old added.

“I think he’s going to struggle. The fans will be on his back very quickly. He should get his head down and take the money. He’s been badly advised. Actually, badly advised isn’t even the word – it’s worse than that."

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