Former West Ham goalkeeper Shaka Hislop has labelled Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez a “distraction” and claims he needs to be sold this summer.

The ex-Premier League shot-stopper has had his say on the Alexis situation and feels that the Chilean is too much of a distraction to keep at Emirates Stadium. “On the one hand I think Alexis Sanchez needs to go,” Hislop said, reports the Express. “He needs to go for himself and he needs to go for Arsenal football club.

“As the Liverpool result showed, there are huge and deep problems at Arsenal which I don’t think Alexis Sanchez is helping with in any way. He’s clearly distracted and a distraction so he needs to go. Add to the fact that in 12 months’ time, he leaves on a free transfer.”

There was evidence of this in the game against Liverpool. While Arsenal were getting thumped, Sky’s cameras often cut to Alexis as he sat on the bench looking pensive. It was as if the overall story of the Gunners losing again was less important than the narrative surrounding a single player.

The club has to endure a media circus every season, but there were concerns that keeping Alexis at the Emirates, despite not wanting to sign a contract, would encourage the speculation to continue throughout the season.

It’s not healthy for the squad at all, and any sign of it affecting the players and their performances will be latched onto by the media. To sell Alexis now would be an embarrassing come down from the position they’ve had all summer, but it could well be for the best.

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News and feature writer with a BA in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of East London. Long-time Arsenal fan also following Sevilla and local side Southend United. You can find me on Twitter @jeinchy29 talking about Arsenal and the issues affecting the English game,