Alexis Sánchez’s unresolved future with Arsenal has been a cause for concern for months now, and with the transfer window open and other big names entering disputes with their clubs, fans are quite right to be worried. His recent sulk on the sidelines of the Liberty Stadium after being substituted during the Gunners’ 4-0 annihilation of basement dwellers Swansea has fuelled speculation that the former Barcelona man may not be content.
Arsène Wenger opted to replace his star striker with the fit-again Danny Welbeck in the 79th minute of the game that saw Paul Clement’s struggling side banished to the foot of the Premier League table. The Chilean ace stormed off the field without shaking his manager’s hand and sat on the bench with a coat over his head. You don’t have to have a doctorate in psychology to deduce that Sánchez was not pleased.
Wenger put the strop down to “cultural differences” and merely pointed out that the striker just loves to play and wants to be on the pitch until the final whistle. Sánchez, who is entering the final year of his contract at the Emirates and is yet to pen a new deal, will have been hoping to bag at least one more goal against the porous Swans defence.
The 28-year-old is the most prolific attacker in the top flight this term, and has 14 goals and 7 assists to his name already. With Diego Costa’s recent dispute with Antonio Conte and Chelsea, Sánchez now has the opportunity to lead the race for the Golden Boot. If Costa stays at Stamford Bridge, the two ferocious attackers could be set for a showdown when Chelsea play Arsenal in early February. Tickets for this crunch clash can be picked up on Ticketgum, and it is sure to sell out so you better be quick if planning to attend.
As Sánchez holds out for a massive increase to his current wages at Arsenal, he is well aware that elite clubs are circling like vultures. Paris Saint-Germain have made their position clear, and have urged the player not to sign a new deal with the Gunners. The French champions have sorely missed Zlatan Ibrahimović this season, and Sanchez could walk straight into their side and become the main man up top.
Arsenal fans will be desperately hoping that the recent scandals involving Costa and Dimitri Payet won’t give Sánchez inspiration to adopt a similar tactic. The Chelsea and West Ham United players have had their heads turned by big money deals at other clubs, and this has resulted in serious discord with the clubs’ respective hierarchies. Costa was dropped from Conte’s starting line-up and Payet has effectively gone on strike.
Sánchez is one of the best players in the Premier League, and knows that his peers – the likes of Eden Hazard and David Silva – are getting paid exceedingly high salaries with their clubs. He is quite right to want more, but he is acting professionally and honouring his current contract, for now. Fans shouldn’t be too worried, as the frontrunner to finish top scorer he will keep putting in the prolific performances for Arsenal until they either increase his wages, or sell him to the highest bidder.