Chuba Akpom revealed that Alexis Sanchez is getting a hard time by his team-mates in the Arsenal dressing room of late, having become the subject of ridicule since failing to secure a switch away this summer.
The Chilean was believed to have been keen on securing a move to a Champions League side all summer, and was later thought to have agree personal terms over a switch to Manchester City on Deadline Day, only for the Gunners to backtrack.
Arsenal were only to allow Alexis to leave should they secure his replacement, and once Monaco’s Thomas Lemar refused to quit his current club, Sanchez was forced to stay put.
His team-mates have now begun to taunt the forward about his failed move, although it is all claimed to be ‘banter’.
Akpom said: “We do banter about it to be fair. But at the end of the day, he’s still at Arsenal.
“Everyone is happy, the fans are happy and he’s happy.
“I think with a player like Sanchez he just blocks it out because all he wants to do is play football.
“He’s so focused on football, he blocks out a lot of negativity and transfer rumours.”
The 28 year-old has struggled to hit the heights of previous seasons so far, and has been criticised for his performances in recent weeks, and the supposed ‘banter’ may well be distracting him, despite Akpom’s claims he ignores it all.
Alexis will no doubt play a key role in our campaign should he manage to concentrate his mind onto his football, but that may get tougher and tougher as the winter window looms come January.
Could the banter be distracting Alexis from his football? Will he be able to hit top form for Arsenal this season?