Could Arsenal lose Alexis Sanchez this summer?
The signing of Alexis Sanchez by Arsenal in the summer of 2014 was a great coup. For years we had been lacking world-class players in our squad, and then we got two in two years. First came Mesut Özil from Real Madrid in 2013, and a year later Sanchez arrived from Barcelona.
While Özil has yet to convince everyone at Arsenal mainly due to the way he plays his football, Sanchez has established himself in the hearts of the fans and is arguably the best player in the current squad. The 28-year-old, who can operate as a forward or as a winger, is very skillful, works hard for the team and always gives his best.
However, in recent weeks, there have been signs that Sanchez may not be as happy at Arsenal as he should be. Following a 3-3 draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium in the Premier League in January, the Chile international forward demonstrated his frustration by ripping his gloves off and throwing them to the ground. The former Barcelona star was also visibly annoyed when he was substituted during the 4-0 victory over Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium last month.
Sanchez’s current contract at the Emirates Stadium runs out in June 2018 and Arsenal are reportedly trying to tie him down to a new long-term deal, but Italian giants Juventus harbour interest in the 28-year-old. With the Gunners now looking unlikely to challenge Chelsea for the Premier League title, many fans would be worried about the future of their most prized asset.
Having played for Barcelona between 2011 and 2014, Sanchez has tasted quite a bit of success. During his time at Camp Nou, the Chilean won La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the FIFA Club World Cup among other major trophies. So far at Arsenal, he has clinched only the FA Cup and the FA Community Shield. With the latest Premier League betting odds for Arsène Wenger’s side to clinch the Premier League title too high, it could be tricky for the Gunners to keep hold of Sanchez if Italian giants and Champions League contenders Juventus came calling in the summer.
Arsenal is a massive club and has a global fan base, but for a competitive player like Sanchez, winning trophies is hugely important. The North London outfit have not won the Premier League title since 2004 and have failed to progress past the knockout stage of the Champions League in each of the past six years. Arsenal appears to have stagnated, and for Sanchez that is simply not good enough.
Of course, it could all come down to the terms of the new contract. If manager Wenger signs a new deal with Arsenal and the club offer Sanchez a lucrative and improved new contract, then he could well stay. However, it is important that the Gunners perform on the pitch and show more ambition that they have in recent years.
If Arsenal makes a late (and unlikely) push for the title and progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League this season, then maybe, just maybe, they would be able to convince Sanchez that the Emirates Stadium is the best place for him to play his football.
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