How Can Arsenal Manage Without Alexis Sanchez And Mesut Ozil?
Arsenal’s troubles seem to be far from ending anytime soon. As if sitting in 6th place behind arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur was not enough, they also have to deal with the impending departures of two of their key players Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. The duo has been linked with exits from the Emirates stadium for the longest time now and this January, either one of them will depart for sure. That is likely to be Sanchez and even if Ozil stays back now, he should leave at the end of the season on a free transfer.
This is a very unfortunate situation which harshly highlights the poor decision-making process of the club. For players as important as Sanchez and Ozil, this should not have even happened. Arsenal should have worked harder at making them stay and if that did not work out, they should have immediately made contingency plans and should have at least profited from their exits.
One might argue that Arsene Wenger wanted time to make them stay but it is 2018 and they are not even close to staying back or signing new contracts.
The ironic thing is that the Gunners are far from flourishing even if both of them stayed back. They are now without a win in their last four games across competitions and have crashed out of the FA Cup as well, which acted as a safety net of sorts in the past for Wenger.
Although the German playmaker has been quite influential with his creativity and vision, Sanchez has been extremely underwhelming and it is quite evident that he has his heart set on joining Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.
Hence, the best thing for Wenger and Arsenal might just be to let go. Watching the Gunners play in the early 2000s was a pleasure even for fans of other clubs but now, even the Emirates faithful are showing growing signs of frustration and one cannot really blame them.
If Sanchez and Ozil were to leave, it could pave way for Danny Welbeck to stage a stronger comeback, much like his teammate Jack Wilshere. Instead of chasing big names, perhaps Wenger should go back to basics and utilise the likes of Welbeck and Wilshere to fuel his hopes of at least securing a Champions League spot.
That said, if both Ozil and Sanchez leave, there is no denying that the club will be in need of signing a new player but their departure is unlikely to cause more problems than what Arsenal are already going through. As far as options within the club go, Wenger will also have the young and promising Eddie Nketiah to rely upon. He gave the world a glimpse of what he can do and it will be interesting to see how far he can go at the Emirates stadium.