Arsenal wouldn’t really sell Alexis Sanchez to another Premier League club would they?
Yesterday it was reported that Chelsea had made Alexis Sanchez their top target this summer and it got me thinking – would Arsenal really sell to another Premier League club?
Perhaps worryingly, I think we would. We’ve seen it before with the likes of Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri. Players that did not want to sign new deals, decided where they wanted to go and forced our hand to sell them to Premier League rivals.
With only a year to go, Arsenal would have two options if Alexis decided he was moving to Chelsea (or Manchester City who are also rumoured to be interested) and that would be to sell or let his contract run down and lose him for free, probably to Chelsea or Manchester City anyway, in a years time.
There are a number of reasons why I can’t see the club holding on to him if he doesn’t extend his deal.
Firstly, it has never happened before. I know things have changed now financially, but the club will still not give up the 30, 40 or even £50m that they could get for him.
He has been an issue for the club in the dressing room recently, and that can only get worse if he is forced to stay when he has made his decision he wants to leave. I’ve always been of the opinion that if a player wants to leave then 99% of the time you should get rid of them. It very rarely works out if you keep them. He could end up being more disruptive and disrupt the squad harmony. While his own levels may be unaffected (although they could still drop) it is more the affect he could have on the rest of the group that is the issue.
His value is never going to be higher than this summer. He is coming off his best season at Arsenal, and although he only has a year left, it may be the right time to sell. He is 28-years-old, but he is running himself into the ground. He has played pretty much non-stop for the past few years and that could cause him to have a shortened career. This isn’t some “glad we are selling him” thing. But I think he will be one of those players whose decline happens very quickly. I could see him being a player that suffers a lot of injuries in the next few seasons with the sort of schedule he has had.
There are numerous others but I don’t want to go on.
I think that if (when) he leaves this summer, he will pick a club and we will be forced to sell. The ideal situation is a bidding war but I just do not see it happening. Hopefully it is PSG but he may well want to stay in London. Arsenal will not have much leverage but we can still demand a decent fee for him. Nobody will pay more than Premier League clubs.
If the reported £100m “war chest” is on top of money we would get from Alexis and possibly Ozil’s sales then we could have a lot to play with in terms of bringing players in. I am of the opinion that Arsenal should look at what the likes of Dortmund have done with bringing in younger stars and that amount could really help freshen up the squad that at least needs a makeover, if not a big rebuild.
So yes, I think that Arsenal could sell to a Premier League club. But that is also where the biggest fee is going to come from. Selling the club’s two biggest stars is obviously not ideal, and it could mean the start of a short rebuild. But if reinvested well, it could set the club up for years to come.