It has been an intriguing week following Arsenal’s exit (well… nearly) from the Champions League after the 5-1 drubbing by Bayern Munich, and after the predictable chorus of WengerOut posts and articles there has also been a lot of speculation on the future of Alexis Sanchez, as he is well known to hate being on the losing side and just wants to win everything in sight.
Every time Sanchez is asked about his Arsenal future, the Chilean simply replies that he just wants to win trophies with Arsenal, but as the season has progressed that is looking like a bleak prospect in this campaign, and there have been three bits of news recently that seems to indicate our superstar will not be with us for the next campaign.
First off there has been reports that several young Gunners supporters were left flabbergasted on a tour of the Emirates last week, when they were told by PR staff that Alexis will definitely be on his way this summer.
This was swiftly followed by Sir Chips Keswick’s comments about “caution” in the ever-rising demands from star players. He was quoted as saying: “As expected, increased Premier League broadcasting revenues had had a direct impact on player costs both in terms of transfer prices and player wage demands,”
“Whilst these are the market forces that have contributed directly over time to the success of the Premier League, I would sound a note of caution in light of the very material contractual commitments to future wages that clubs are taking on.”
If that means Arsenal are going to doggedly stick to their 200,000k a week ceiling on wages then it is likely that Alexis (and Ozil) will not be getting the rises they expect and will be sold in the summer to clubs that will match their demands.
But the third thing that rings true to me is something that Rio Ferdinand said: “To replace him you are going to have to spend, £60m, £70m, £80m in today’s market. He’s the guy keeping them in the Champions League position. The problem they’ve got is his history doesn’t suggest that he sticks around long at his football clubs.
“With the money that’s out there in places like China, that will test whether he’s a man who wants to win silverware in Europe or if the financial gains he’s going to achieve in China is something that floats his boat.”
So having read that I had a quick look at his career and it would seem that Ferdinand is right. When Udinese first bought a young Sanchez from Chile, he spent the first two seasons on loan back in South America, before going to Italy for 3 years. He was then snapped up by Barcelona and, guess what? He stayed there for 3 years. This summer, he will finish 3 years at Arsenal. Do you see a pattern emerging? His next move will be his last chance to earn some big bucks before he retires, so why would he NOT move on to a club that doesn’t have Arsenal’s financial restraints?
Put those three items together, and to me it seems very unlikely that Alexis will stay, so I guess all we can hope is that Arsenal find a suitable replacement of the same ability, but one that obviously will accept a lower pay scale!