Does Wenger ‘have’ to play Alexis after Deadline Day drama?

Chris Sutton has claimed that Alexis Sanchez simply has to play for Arsenal after the saga which saw him stay on deadline day.

Manchester City had agreed a fee with the Gunners on deadline day, believed to be in the region of £60-70 Million, only for Arsenal to fail to persuade replacement Thomas Lemar to come in his place. No replacement meant that the North London side would unwilling to part ways with their star.

The saga left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Citizens, but the Chilean seems to be trying to be professional and get on with the campaign, which is great news for our season, although we still have to expect to see him leave for free next summer.

The drama of deadline has lead to Chris Sutton to believe that the Arsenal boss simply has to play the contract-rebel this term, and he was shocked to see him left out of last weekend’s crunch match with Chelsea.

“I was surprised that Alexis Sanchez was left out by Arsene Wenger against Chelsea last week,” Sutton was quoted.

“After all Arsenal’s stubbornness in refusing to sell the striker, why not use him?

“But I don’t think Wenger was trying to say there’s no player bigger than the club by benching the Chilean.

“The manager maybe felt Sanchez wasn’t up to speed. Still, I can’t see him being left out against West Brom on Monday night, particularly with Danny Welbeck out.

“If Arsenal want that X-factor in the final third then Sanchez is their man.”

The former Chelsea striker went onto reveal an admiration for Wenger’s stance on Alexis, turning down a large chunk of money despite the impending free transfer which looks ever-likely to follow.

“Wenger wants him there and I admire his stance in keeping him,” added Sutton.

“After all, how would you replace Sanchez?

“Having £70m is good but not as good as having Sanchez.”

Would Lemar have been a worthy replacement for the Chilean? Could we have beaten Chelsea had we started Alexis? Is he a shoo-in to start tonight?

Pat J

Tags alexis sanchez Arsenal Chelsea Chris Sutton


  1. Nothing changed says:

    It was stupid IMO to keep Sanchez (and Ozil) and when these two walk out of our club at the end of the season for free and to possibly direct competitors in the PL (Manchester) the coin will drop for many, who will then resort to insulting these players. The most we have spent in a transfer window was 90 million two windows ago if I recall correctly. We could have sold these two for 90 million which is what it seems we valued Lemar at (who did not want to join us).

    Letting 90 million walk out the door at the end of the season is plain foolish but if you do that you better have a vision that includes these two players playing every PL game and getting you back to the top 4. Otherwise, you look naive, missing out on top 4, strengthening your direct opponents for free and having no money to replace them.

    1. So you’re sad about missing out on top 4? Yea cause winning 4th spot is so thrilling! Even if Sanchez and Ozil were sold you and I both know that money would not have been reinvested in the team…you know like OX! So great they stayed…keep them on the bench or play them it doesn’t matter because Wenger will not be winning the title any time soon…

      1. Nothing changed says:

        No, I wish we had sold them and re-invested the money in this past window in a Lemar or a Seri or even a VVD. To me, it will be deeply frustrating if we don’t finish top 4 and they walk out to City or where ever for free and we will once again have no budget to seriously address all our needs.

        If they help us to the top 4 the gamble will have been worth it. The problem starts if we don’t finish in the top 4 and have to address an aging squad with no serious budget.
        (Mert will be gone, Kos is getting older and we just solve Gabriel and Mustafi might be gone as well, we still need a proper DM with every game it becomes more clear that Xhaka is not the player we need, Santi might be finished – So IMO letting 90 million walk out the door for free is a big mistake.)

        Just wait till next window and we are told we don’t have the money to buy the reinforcements we need.

        1. ArseOverTit says:

          Nothing new here..been going on for years.

          Welcome To Arsenal Football Club!;)

        2. Waal2waal says:

          if there little to no progress with our two players (alexis and mesut) then by next winter at least 1 will be gone, more likely that will be alexis. your dispair over them leaving and as a consequence there being less money to invest in new players is at this moment ‘premature’ because there is sufficient time enough for the contract situation to improve. but if for any reason it doesn’t you be sure thete will be contingency plan in place.

          1. Waal2waal says:

            i know you believe both should have been sold to have ready available funds but im sure that by keeping them here was the sensible option (IMO). Also the notion of top 4 has never been anything more than a fall back for us when our ambition is to seal a place among prem top 3 to qualify straight. we brought them with the idea they’d secure us CL football and as it stands we are not far off the pace – we currently have a say in who gets 3rd place, right?.- support our no9..

          2. Nothing changed says:

            Sure, but if I read your argument correctly you seem to agree that it makes no sense at this stage not to play them.

          3. waal2waal says:

            Right, we have to play them – even at times from the bench.

      2. Nothing changed says:

        What do you think we gain by forcing them to stay and not playing them? It just seems emotional to me and not rational. You only force them to stay if you play them.

  2. gotanidea says:

    Sutton is right, Sanchez is the X-Factor for Arsenal. They often play with no creativity until Sanchez breaks the opponent’s defense with his actions.

    The way Sanchez plays is risky, but he always chases the ball back. He always pressurizes the opponent’s defender after he gives the ball away, forces them to make mistakes.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Honestly, in tight games against a stubborn defence, I used to wonder if Alexis would purposely hit the odd miss pass, to a defender that does not want that ball at his feet with players closing in. If we’re close enough to chase down, those misplaced balls can dangerous for the other side, they have to go the length of field to trouble us whilst we have a chance to intercept, force an error, or watch a defender under pressure totally fluff his lines. Against either city or Chelsea I remember first thinking, did he do that on purpose because we were getting nowhere near the back line, all of a sudden the other team flinched and they didn’t look too confident after some tries at forcing an error. I know that it’s likely not intentional, but it seemed it a few times, and it is a tactic that could be used, it could take the emphasis off of us to be the adventuring team and we can be deadly when we are the countering team. Defenders, even ball playing ones don’t want the ball hit at them all of a sudden and with the enemy just a yard or two away, then could you imagine how the non playing defenders feel about it.

  3. arsenal4life says:

    Playing in the soft Europa league
    is giving Arsenal a huge advantage
    over the other title contenders.
    Their top players play twice a week
    whereas Arsenals top X1 get a full
    weeks rest all the time which now see’s Arsenal flying
    up the table admittedly during a soft run of matches.
    Arsenal must hope our rivals go on long ECL runs
    deep into the New Year running their top players
    into the ground while ours stay fresh.
    Ozil and Sanchez like the top X1 meanwhile continue to be fresh and dangerous.
    Top 3 by Xmas. Top ? by May.

    1. Rkw says:

      Other title contenders …. u r kidding right … That might happen once wenger leaves but not before … Players are comfortable coz the geriatric laurel and hardy combo just sit there all game trying to remember where they left their Zimmer frames … At one point in his tenure wenger recognized that a skillful midfield was key to quality forward pushing football … The current crop are just a bunch of very average players all of whom could have been playing for WBA

  4. BZ says:

    @Nothing changed… you right,We gain nothing by keeping them and not playing them.. but weLare also making a statement “ARSENAL FC IS NOT A SELLING CLUB” and “NO PLAYER COMES TO US TO GET TO A CERTAIN LEVEL AND THEN MOVE TO MAN CITY FOR TROPHIES”.. it doesn’t work that way and they need to know it. plus AFC does not need money, we can buy Lemar without selling Sanchez or Ozil..

  5. Break-on-through says:

    Henry and Cara were wondering if Arsene is gonna only play one of Ozil or Alexis more often, I cant see that, Alexis would be the one mostly playing so I don’t think this will happen at all. It’s Mesut Ozil and Arsene Wenger were talking about, both have had to swat away similar type queries about a lack of defensive capability. Arsene admires Ozil too much to do this, and since when has Wenger become so ruthless, not gonna happen. I think it’s more a case of Wenger not having players fully up to speed from day one, he gives players time off at the beginning of seasons, he probably has his reasons but I’d say it was more about letting Alexis Ozil prepare at a leisurely pace and protecting them a little bit.

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