During a summer transfer window that was full of surprises, several big players attempted to force transfers through to big clubs. A few of these players actually failed to gain the move they were hoping for, and one of these failures involved Alexis Sanchez and a proposed switch to Manchester City. The Chilean forward only has a year left on his Gunners’ contract so the price being discussed was much lower than his actual valuation in today’s market.
With a reported offer of over £100 million from Barcelona for Phillipe Coutinho, Sanchez would undoubtedly cost even more if he still had a few years to see out at the Emirates. But the North London side still rejected an offer of £50 million from Pep Guardiola’s side, knowing that their star men could leave for free at the end of this campaign. As such an indispensable member of Arsene Wenger’s side, the French boss decided another year with the former Barcelona man would be worth more than the £50 million they could have received.
It was made clear, especially on deadline day, that Sanchez himself preferred a move to Manchester than staying at Arsenal which didn’t go down well with Gunners fans, to say the least. It is understandable really when they are watching their best player trying to leave with just hours left of the transfer window, insufficient time for them to source a replacement.
Even after taking all of this into consideration, it is vital that they are able to put this behind them and get behind their pint-sized wizard once again this term. Fans of Arsenal know better than anyone that when Sanchez is at the top of his game, there aren’t many better players across the world. This doesn’t just concern his ability but also his fantastic work rate and his willingness to continuously run for 90 minutes whether he is on the ball or trying to win it back from an opponent.
His goals and assists are almost irreplaceable especially for the relatively small fee that the Gunners would have received for the 28-year-old. Last season, he scored 24 goals and managed 10 assists in the Premier League. This made him the only player to register double figures for goals and assists last term in the top flight, something that has been done twice in the last two seasons. The other player was Riyad Mahrez for Leicester City in their incredible title-winning effort in the 2015/16 campaign.
Only Harry Kane was directly involved in more goals than Alexis last season as the South American was one of very few shining lights in a very poor Arsenal year. One that would have been much worse without Sanchez. It would be very naïve of the Gunners fans to hold a grudge over their best player for wanting to play Champions League football this season, especially after Sanchez has said he is fully committed to helping Arsenal in the league and in Europe.
While it is easy to see why Gunners fans will be upset when Alexis Sanchez eventually leaves the Emirates, the worst thing they could do is to give him a hard time as he tries his hardest in what will be his final season at the club. There is no doubt the mercurial forward will be imperative to his side’s efforts if they want to get back into the Champions League next term. Sanchez deserves a lot of respect for what he has done during his time in North London and it should stay that way.