Reports this week are outlining plans from Arsenal to revamp their defensive positions by letting some of their deadwood go in this area.
It comes after a summer in which Gabriel Magalhaes and Pablo Mari both arrived on permanent deals to shore up the defensive area.
Arsenal were of course linked with a host of players at the end of last season, including England international John Stones.
Stones’ time at City looked up. He had fallen down the pecking order at The Etihad and Arsenal seemed the most likely location for him. Indeed, The Sun reported that Stones was set to be available for £20 million in the summer, with West Ham also keen.
Mikel Arteta previously worked with him at City and Arsenal looked like a perfect place for Stones to reignite his career.
However, the Spaniard had already denied having any interest in Stones.
“John is a player that I really like and we followed him before we signed him when I was at City,” Arteta told the press in January of last year. “I worked with him for many years and I know him well, and obviously when I look at centre-backs he has got many attributes that I like from one. But we are not interested in him.”
At the time, plenty of Arsenal fans were probably happy with this decision, given Stones declining form and fitness in recent times. However, right now, Arsenal fans would undoubtedly love to have Stones in the mix.
The 26-year-old has been in fine form for Pep Guardiola’s side this season, keeping out French international Aymeric Laporte and new signing Nathan Ake in the process.
Last night he put in one of his best performances yet in a City shirt, shutting out Manchester United and scoring a crucial goal to book a place in the League cup semi-final.
Who knows if City would have sold Stones before this season started. Given his status at the club at the time, many would have expected him to be up for grabs.
Arsenal should just be kicking themselves that they did not ask the question.