Could keeping Alexis Sanchez at Arsenal be Arsene Wenger’s most important bit of business this summer? And, if he manages it, his best?

With just a year left on his current Arsenal deal, it’s no wonder the likes of Bayern Munich and Manchester City are circling in an attempt to lure Alexis away from Arsenal.

Of course, it may not take much luring.

Arsenal no longer have Champions League football to use as a bargaining tool and they don’t quite have the funds that City have at their disposal.

Therefore, considering how strong the rumours are that the Chilean is leaving this summer, should keeping him be Wenger’s priority before signing new, big names?

alexis sunderland
(Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

After the Gunners beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final, the Frenchman said that he wants to keep this current squad together, and I have to agree that this should be paramount.

Not only do these players know each other but keeping the likes of Alexis at the club sends a message not just to the club’s own fans and the 28-year-old’s teammates, it sends a message to others. It shows that they are capable of keeping hold of their best players despite not having Champions League to offer them. THAT’S what sort of club they are.

It’ll give Arsenal players hope ahead of a new season, which is going to be hard since there’s a lot of rebuilding to do.

And it’ll raise morale amongst the fans after a tough year.

Wenger has since insisted that he still intends to keep both Alexis and Mesut Ozil at Arsenal even if neither sign a new deal, and it’s being reported that the Gunners won’t do business with City, risking them both leaving for free next year.

While I’m more inclined to believe Wenger now that I was back in 2012 when he said the same about Robin van Persie, Arsenal are reportedly demanding £50m for Alexis. That’s around a £15m profit and although I’m sure the manager wouldn’t mind missing out on that in principle, he’s not the only person who has a say.

Do I think that Arsenal will sign for City? Not at all. However, Bayern are another kettle of fish.

Therefore, to keep Alexis at Arsenal, Wenger would not only have to either convince the forward to stay or force him to see out the remaining year of his contract, he’d have to talk the Gunners’ board into very possibly throwing £50m out the window.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – MAY 10: Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal gives the thumbs up during the Premier League match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary’s Stadium on May 10, 2017 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Alexis scored 30 goals in all competitions last season and while there are players out there, like Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette for example, who also had an impressive tally, the Chilean has bedded into the team now. He’s in form and part of a team. As well as his 30 goals, he managed 19, which means that he had a hand (or foot) in 59 goals last season.

Lacazette assisted just five, meaning that, despite his 37 goals, he only had a hand in 42.

This demonstrates that while Alexis is a proven goalscorer, he’s useful to the team as a whole.

Lacazette is more of an ‘individual’.

While Lacazette would be great in addition to Alexis, if he’s just a replacement, like Olivier Giroud was for Van Persie five years ago, the team will suffer.

Arsenal became the joke of the Premier League when they were selling their best players, especially to rivals, because the club desperately needed the money. Something we weren’t made fully aware of until much later.

However, now, we don’t need to do it. The books are fine; we have the funds.

The club has spent years building its reputation, at least when it comes to transfers, back up. Let’s not shatter it now.

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A twenty-something writer living in North London. Likes caffeine, food that’s bad for her and Arsenal. Dislikes avocados, rudeness and Arsenal.