Sell Him Wenger – Why It Is Time For Arsenal To Finally Bid Adieu To Alexis Sanchez
The Alexis Sanchez-Arsenal saga continues to drag on. The Chilean forward, whose contract expires in the summer of 2018, was desperate to leave the club last summer and was on the brink of a £50million move to Manchester City on the transfer deadline day. But Arsenal failed to close a deal for Monaco’s Thomas Lemar and as a result, pulled the plug on Sanchez’s move because manager Arsene Wenger did not want to sell him without having a proper replacement in the squad.
Ever since, the former Barcelona star has been under the scanner and has been on the receiving end of a lot of flak from the fans and pundits alike, with his professionalism and attitude towards the club being questioned at every step. There has been a growing frustration within his teammates as well, which was evident when only a few players celebrated with him when he scored a goal against Crystal Palace.
And latest reports from the Guardian claim that the 29-year old was at the centre of a dressing room bust-up following the Gunners win over Burnley, with his teammates taking offence with his constant histrionics on the pitch.
With the January transfer window looming upon us, the whole transfer saga is set to take centre stage again. One thing is for certain, the 29-year old, who earns £140,000-a-week, will not sign a new contract and will leave the Emirates for sure. So, should Wenger get rid of the player for whatever money is offered in January? Or should he hold onto him until the summer and lose him for free?
Sanchez, with all his flaws and wrong attitude, is a world-class player and would improve any team he plays for. The Chilean has scored seven times in the Premier League for the Gunners this term and has registered three assists as well. He may not have been able to perform as brilliantly or as consistently as he did last season, but he remains a valuable player in the eyes of the manager Wenger. If not, it would have been extremely unlikely that the Frenchman, given his financial nous, would turn down a huge sum of £50million for a player in the final year of his contract.
Yet, it also needs to be considered if the player is really worth it at all, considering the mounting frustrations and disruptions within the rest of his squad.
The Gunners sit sixth in the Premier League and are out of the title race by a long way. But, the battle for a UEFA Champions League spot is still on. However, would they fare any worse if they did lose Sanchez in January?
The 29-year old may have scored seven times in the league, but three of those came in the past week, meaning he had managed just four strikes from August till December. If you take away his goals against Palace and Liverpool from the last week, Sanchez was scoring at a very poor rate of one goal every 287 minutes (4 in 1148 mins).
And coming to the North Londoners’ Europa League campaign, Sanchez has made only one appearance in the competition this term, in which he did score. But again, one would think that Arsenal have enough in their tanks to progress in the competition, without relying excessively on the Chilean.
Sanchez, despite all his abilities and class, isn’t performing to the level expected and it is clear that his heart is set on a move away. While it would have made sense for Wenger to risk losing him on a free transfer if he was contributing to the team’s cause but that has not been the case at all and his attitude is only causing unrest within the squad. Hence, in this situation, it would be best from the club’s perspective that they sell him at the earliest and make some money, rather than keeping him till the end of the season and lose him for free.