Arsenal lost out on a potential 100m GBP by refusing to sell Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez despite the very real threat of them walking away from the club for nothing next summer, not to mention the potential disruption from the inevitable transfer rumours as they near the end of those contracts.
But yesterday, Arsenal put in probably their best performance of the season so far without these so-called superstars in the starting XI, and when Sanchez did come on for the last 25 minutes he hardly looked inspirational. Martin Keown thinks that this is very significant. “There has been so much fear at Arsenal of losing Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil,” the ex-gunner said. “This excellent performance at Chelsea without them made you wonder what all the fuss was about.
“Without these two, Arsenal were much better defensively. They were disciplined, worked together and pressed as a unit to close down Chelsea.”
“With midfielders working around him, Aaron Ramsey was able to get on the ball more. He ran the show in midfield and it was his best display for years.
“For this Arsenal team, it was a chance to step up and prove that they did not need Sanchez and Ozil to perform.
“This showed the strength of their XI is better than any individual.”
Although Arsenal fans were up in arms at the end of last season at the prospect of losing our (then) most expensive stars, but who now believes that we should have cashed in both of them, like we did with Oxlade-Chamberlain?