Arsenal boss defends Alexis but admits he should have been sold sooner

Arsene Wenger has defended the attitude of Alexis Sanchez, and insists he always gave his all  for Arsenal.

The Gunners allowed the forward to join rivals Manchester United last month, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan moving in the opposite direction.

The Chilean had made his intention to leave the club, and was nearly sold to Manchester City on deadline day back in the summer, but ended up having to stay put, and his performances from that point onwards were questioned.

Wenger continued to field the 29 year-old despite the ongoing saga, and he insist that his former star always tried his best to try and help us win, despite the obvious problems with the situation.

Wenger said: ‘Sanchez, for him it was very difficult because as soon as he had a game that was average he was questioned about his commitment and that is not his case.

‘When he is on the football pitch he wants to win. But it was a bit unfair to him I think.’

When asked whether the saga had a detrimental effect on the playing squad, the Frenchman replied: ‘I don’t know, our results in the future will show that.

‘What was a bit unfair to Sanchez: he was questioned every time. Is he committed or not committed?

‘There was always a debate and then of course it starts to unsettle a little bit but I never questioned his commitment but it was a difficult situation.’

Wenger went onto claim that the former star was not key in our struggles this term, claiming our inconsistency at the back has been our biggest downfall.

He added: ‘I would say that we have been a lot… first of all we have not the defensive stability since the start of the season that you need to have to be completely efficient at our level.

‘We have produced offensively a lot of goal chances but we have not finished them well. So we have been a bit inefficient where it matters.

‘And as well there was a lot of uncertainty around the team with the Sanchez case, the Ozil case.

‘For the whole season that was a really difficult case. In hindsight, maybe despite the fact we couldn’t have brought somebody in, we should have cut that earlier.’

Should Alexis have been sold last summer? Did he have an adverse effect on our other players?

Pat J

Tags alexis sanchez Arsenal Man United Wenger


  1. I consider myself a very strong critic of wenger and number one fan of “Wenger out” but his decision to keep alexis was a gamble worth taking. At the end it might not totally be a poor decision especially if Miki comes good.

    alexis is gone, can we please move on!

  2. Alexis said he decided to go to United because he “wanted to win everything”. LOL. I guess the £600,000 per week (or whatever the real salary is) had absolutely nothing to do with it.

    And now Wenger talks about Defensive instability. We saw this coming from the beginning of the season. No top centre back and defensive midfielder signings either in the sumner or January. Wenger did fantastic this January with offensive signings but nothing for defense
    Koscielny is aging, Mustafi is decent but not top quality, Mert is retiring, Chambers and Holding are inexperienced and Monreal is a full back not a CB (although hes done an admirable job). If Wenger had signed more top quality defenders (like Kolsanic quality but for the centre positions) there wouldn’t be defensive inconsistency. Even in January he could have got someone. We sold Oxlade, Theo, Giroud, Gibbs and Gabriel so we had funds available. Wenger is always behind while other managers are ahead with signings. I suspect Wenger still will not get a defensive midfielder in the summer.

    1. there is not many quality defensive mid or defenders available in Jan….

      maybe in the summer there will be more options

      have to leave it to our head of recruitment mislintat to recommend some

      1. Not many?? Like how we got quality striker and attacking midfielder in January, and how Man U got Sanchez in the same January.. everyone has a price, Did Arsenal even try to buy any CB and DM?? Did we? Don’t say there is no quality in January while you did nothing to try buy anyone. Liverpool got their man, Man city got Laporte. we find excuses about lack of anyone in January while sleeping waiting for June.. ridiculous

    2. Innit, You perfectly sum up Wengers refusal- there can be no other word than sheer refusal – to even try to get quality defenders in. He has ignored even trying to get quality defenders ever since The Invincibles broke up and this is a disgrace, dereliction of duty and a sacking offence BUT not just once, but every year for ages past. As you state, he sold a few players in January and raised money but once again ignored even trying to bring in a proper defender and still has the joke player Xhaka constantly leaving gaping holes at DCM. How any SANE Gooner can not demand his immediate sacking (as I have been doing for many years past) is beyond my understanding. A supposed “legendary” manager of a world famous club who year after year does not even notice the dreadful defence and constant mistakes costing us many points, is a scandal at top level. I also “suspect Wenger will still not get a defensive midfielder in the summer”, for the wonderful reason that I am convinced his sacking will be in May. Please God!!

  3. he should’ve consulted nasri before acting all up …….join the line papi season or two we’ll see whether the football world can evn spell your name!!!

  4. In retrospect, Alexis + Theo + Giroud < Auba + Mhki.

    We gave up a brilliant player and two good players for a two brilliant players in their positions.

    We paid 30M extra for the change, but saved more in salary over the period.

    However, the pair of Auba and Mhki changes our attack to be more direct and faster, and that is what allows more shots on goals and more goals.

    So, it makes sense that Wenger will be nice to Alexis.

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