Former Arsenal midfielder Stuart Robson has said that he expects Alexis Sánchez to leave this summer as Arsene Wenger doesn’t like confrontation and will be sold if the Chilean doesn’t pen a new deal.
Alexis, 28, has twelve months remaining on his existing deal with the Gunners and negotiations over an extension have not been finalised.
Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United are just three clubs that have been linked with Alexis from the Premier League, whilst Bayern and PSG have since cooled their interest in the Chilean.
Robson, who spent nine years at Arsenal after joining as a schoolboy in 1978 and is now a pundit for radio talk show, talkSPORT, who specialises in hating Arsene Wenger, couldn’t resist.
“Arsene Wenger doesn’t like confrontation,” Robson stated when discussing Alexis’s future on air.
“Sanchez has been outstanding for Arsenal but they did have a problem earlier in the season. Anybody that might challenge him [Wenger] or argue with one or two of his decisions, he doesn’t like it and doesn’t want anybody like that at his club.”
He’s referring to the reported bust-up following Arsenal’s embarrassing 5-1 away defeat against Bayern in the Champions League last-16.
Alexis was left on the bench for their next fixture away against Liverpool and despite making a considerable impact from the bench, many felt as though it was Wenger’s way of punishing him for his behaviour.
Sánchez isn’t afraid to be vocal in his disappointment and criticism of team-mates when he feels they have done wrong, which polarises opinion among supporters. Some feel as though this is admirable, others believe it’s unnecessary and causes needless friction as a result.
“Sanchez, as we’ve seen when players haven’t worked quite so hard as he thinks they should do or hasn’t passed the ball, he’ll have a go at them,” Robson continued.
“Sometimes that is a great attitude to have, you need three or four players that will get around the team, get after the players when things aren’t going quite so well.”
There is a possibility that Arsenal are resigned to cashing in on Alexis this summer, despite Wenger’s adamant stance that he’ll remain regardless of the contract situation.
Alexis found himself a scapegoat for the team’s shortcomings after Christmas as they saw Premier League and Champions League aspirations falter once more in spectacular fashion.
Robson feels as though the Chilean’s treatment has been harsh though and the club would be doing him a disservice by letting their talisman leave on acrimonious terms.
“Arsenal were putting it out that he didn’t run as much as people thought he did, he was a problem defensively, he had one or two arguments with team-mates. When things weren’t going quite so well, they were trying to tell the public that he wasn’t quite the player everyone expected him to be.
“But he’s been outstanding for Arsenal, he’s been their best player by quite some way over the last two years. I think it’s wrong that they can let him go like that.”
Alexis’s decision over his future is likely to be clarified in the coming weeks and it’s important everything is sorted before the new campaign begins.
After a forgettable season, that still ended with more silverware last term, it’s imperative that the Gunners start well in August on all fronts and the last thing they need is to be worrying about contract negotiations in their attempts at progression.