Alexis Sanchez is a character who despite not receiving a lot of attention from the media spotlight at Arsenal, is never too far from the cameras of the rest of the world. Our very own superstar has the world on his shoulders and he is in a position to demand what he desires from the club right now.
Of course there is the ongoing transfer speculation surrounding whether he will sign a new contract with the Gunners or not. He has a deal until the summer of next season, but Arsenal will make it clear that the contract needs to be signed in the summer at the latest. As a result, Alexis has made his intentions known on several occasions that there will be no more contractual discussions with the club until the summer, with the player preferring to see out how the campaign finishes for the Gunners.
Currently Arsenal’s chances of making the Top Four look slim. The odds may have improved ever so slightly after our 2-0 win over Manchester United, but the Gunners still find themselves out of touch with the likes of 3rd and 4th placed Liverpool and Manchester City. I find it quite likely that the Gunners will miss out on Champions League football for the first time ever under Wenger, despite having ‘world-class’ players like Ozil, Cech, Alexis and Koscielny in the team.
The Champions League itself is of course a competition that Arsenal have had no luck in since the late 2000’s. Of course our greatest achievement was runners up in 2006, whilst a few semi final appearances here and there had maintained our worthiness in the competition. Arsenal have however proven in recent years that we cannot hack it in Europe and with the Gunners looking unlikely to secure a place in Europe’s biggest club competition for next season, I think we may have a struggle on our hands keeping some of our biggest players.
Finally Arsenal’s run in the FA Cup is our biggest success story so far and we will return to Wembley at the end of May to face the likely Premier League champions Chelsea. It’s Arsenal’s best and only chance of silverware this season and for Alexis Sanchez, success in this competition is key.
In a Sky Sports report, Alexis is quoted as saying: “I don’t think it has been a very good season for me because I came here to win trophies, to be competing in the Champions League semi-finals and to win the Premier League, and I feel disappointed that we aren’t in a position to win the Premier League or the Champions League. We do have the FA Cup final coming up and we’ll give it our all to try to win it.
“What I want to do now is to finish the season well, try to qualify for the Champions League, win the FA Cup and then I’ll sit down with the club to decide what I’m going to do.”
Those words in my opinion are the words of a player who could not sound more disappointed, frustrated and simply embarrassed by the efforts of his team. Alexis puts in a shift week in week out as a world class player, yet his efforts on the pitch achieve little reward when it comes to being successful with silverware.
When Alexis joined in 2014 the Gunners had just won their first major honour since 2005. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it was the moment that signified a turn in our future, but it did offer promise that a return to challenging for greater success may be on the cards. A back to back FA Cup win, inspired by Alexis himself in the next season showed great intentions that the club was now ready to consistently challenge on a larger scale, only to be let down at the end of the following season. Alexis is a winner and having played for Barcelona, he is used to expecting the very best. He cannot realistically expect the same level of achievement from Arsenal, but he is rightfully disappointed to have not seen his time at the club perhaps take the direction he would have believed.
The end of the campaign, champions league qualification and FA CUP success will all be pivotal in deciding Alexis Sanchez’s future and personally I reckon if the Gunners do not achieve one or the other, perhaps even both, then we can wave goodbye to the superstar that has made us tick this season…