Arsenal Must Not Allow Sanchez Exit

By Matt Brown
In Arsenal
Aug 17th, 2017

Source: MCFC_MP via Twitter

Arsenal claimed victory over Leicester on the opening day of the Premier League season, although the win was a microcosm of their recent history under Arsene Wenger. The Gunners took the lead through debutant Alexandre Lacazette, only to concede almost immediately as Shinji Okazaki equalised.

Jamie Vardy put the Foxes ahead following a mistake at the back by Granit Xhaka, although Danny Welbeck equalised before the break. However, Vardy notched his second goal of the night and it looked to be the winning one as Craig Shakespeare’s men appeared in control.

The tide would turn after Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud arrived from the bench to snatch the three points to get the season off on the front foot for Wenger’s men. The performance highlighted the club’s defensive flaws as left-back Nacho Monreal was called upon in the heart of the defence.

Arsenal have work ahead of them if they are to prove they can match the aura displayed Manchester United and Manchester City in their opening match of the campaign. However, the Gunners still showed fight to come back and win the contest and at this early stage of the term, it could be worth a punt on a free bet with Arsenal backed as long as 12/1 to win the Premier League title.

Those slim hopes to compete for the crown will hinge on their ability to retain the services of Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean has been linked with a move to Manchester City to link up with former boss Pep Guardiola, who he played under at Barcelona. Sanchez has been the heartbeat of the Gunners since he moved to the Emirates Stadium. He took his game to new heights last season, scoring 24 goals in the Premier League. Even his incredible effort was not enough to keep Wenger’s men in the top four for the 20th season on the bounce.

Source: FootballSPE via Twitter

Losing his presence in the final third would be catastrophic for Arsenal, especially at this stage of the campaign when they would be scrambling to find a replacement. Wenger would not be able to find a player of his calibre on the market, which would put a great deal of pressure on Lacazette to fill the void in his first season in the Premier League.

The Frenchman displayed predatory instincts to open the scoring against the Foxes. He has all the attributes to succeed in the top flight with the pace and clinical edge needed to find the back of the net, but whether he would be able to perform with regularity like Sanchez would be unlikely.

As a result, the next two weeks will be extremely important for the future of Arsenal. Selling their star player to a rival would be reminiscent of when Robin van Persie was sold to Manchester United, which fuelled their last Premier League triumph in the 2012-13 campaign. It would not send out a strong signal that the Gunners are able to compete with the two Manchester clubs and perhaps even drop below their fifth-place finish of last term.

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A Gooner since the dark days of the mid 80s. Still waiting for number 14.

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