Arsenal legend and current Sky Sports pundit Thierry Henry has warned the Gunners against going after the Everton trio of Romelu Lukaku, John Stones and Ross Barkley, as he questions whether the three are consistent enough to perform for a big club.
As reported by the Liverpool Echo's Joe Rimmer, Henry was asked whether he believed the three could help the Gunners push for a Premier League title next season. His answer was perhaps a little surprising:
Thinking about it, I would question their consistency.
When you play for a big club, it's not easy. Suddenly you're always playing against a team that most of the time defend really deep.
Can Lukaku play in the last third like he would with Everton some times on the counter? It's a different story. Can Barkley run the show at Arsenal? I don't know.
While Henry certainly makes a fair point, as it is much harder to perform on a high level when going up against clubs who defend their area and do little else, most Arsenal fans would probably love to see the Everton talents arrive at the Emirates Stadium.
Lukaku in particular would be a welcome sight, as the young Belgian continues to rack up impressive scoring numbers. As shared by BreatheSport, the youngster's statistics compare well to those of just about any top striker:
At the age of 22, the former Anderlecht star already ranks among the best forwards in the Premier League, and he has consistently produced since moving to Everton. While he doesn't score every week―and has gone through some scoring slumps―he will only get better in the coming years.
Lukaku has already scored 18 Premier League goals this season, which is just one fewer than Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud combined, per WhoScored.com.
Stones emerged as England's next great centre-back last season, and while he hasn't experienced the kind of breakout campaign most were hoping for in 2015-16, his talent remains as tantalising as ever.
He's likely to start for England at the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament, and per the Daily Mirror's Tom Hopkinson, both Chelsea and Manchester City are expected to battle for his signature next summer. The Blues had a £30 million bid rejected in 2015, per the report.
He may not be a world-class option just yet, but he certainly has the potential to reach that level. And one could argue he would already be an automatic starter for the Gunners, who currently pair Laurent Koscielny with Per Mertesacker—the latter isn't exactly the most consistent defender.
Top Corner had some fun with his lack of pace during the Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur:
Of the three, Barkley would perhaps struggle the most to get into Arsenal's starting XI, but the 22-year-old is quietly having an excellent season.
Per WhoScored.com, he has already scored eight goals and added seven assists in the Premier League:
Comparisons to Jack Wilshere regularly lead to massive arguments between fans on social media, but unlike the talented Arsenal man, Barkley hasn't had any major injury struggles, and he continues to improve every season.
At the very least, he would add some depth to the midfield, while Lukaku and Stones would likely start for the Gunners right now. Whether they would be good enough to push Arsenal to the title immediately is questionable, but given their age and long-term potential, few would complain if manager Arsene Wenger decided to splash the cash on any of the three during the summer.
But per ESPN FC's Tony Evans, the Premier League's massive TV deal means the merits of such a transfer will likely remain a hypothetical question. Everton have the cash to turn away most suitors, and if one of those three does end up leaving the Toffees, the other two will be virtually untouchable during the same transfer window.