Over the last few months there have been murmurs that Arsenal are in talks with Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez over new deals.
On Tuesday morning there were even reports that those contracts were nearing completion, but Arsène Wenger dismissed that idea on Tuesday.
“No, that’s not close,” said the manager. It goes with what he’s said in the past, insisting in December that contract talks with the players would be dealt with at the end of the season.
Alexis’ form has been far from what is expected of him, but Wenger said he isn’t considering dropping or resting the Chilean against Swansea City on Wednesday night. Maybe he could do with a game off before the north London derby, but Danny Welbeck is being asked to play a lot of football and definitely can’t be played every week after 10 months out. As a result, Alexis is expected to start against the Swans.
“He’s just coming back from injury,” Wenger said as he defended the winger’s form. “I believe that he is fighting to come back to his best.
“His second half was quite positive and encouraging at Manchester United so what you want of him is he doesn’t lose confidence and continues to fight.”
Nobody can deny that Alexis is a fighter, but the more nuanced areas of his game are where he’s currently lacking. Despite his undoubted quality looks a little predictable at times and, ultimately, anyone can suffer from a lack of confidence.
With just six Premier League goals in 19 Premier League appearances this season (and not one in his 10 league appearances since October) is it time to drop the 27-year-old?