Football pundit Ian Wright believes Arsenal have to keep Alexis Sanchez by any means to stand a chance of challenging for major honours this season.
The former Arsenal striker believes letting Alexis go would greatly hamper their chances of silverware in 2017/18, but admits it might be hard to keep the Chilean motivated given he could be leaving this summer or in 12 months.
“I’d love to keep him and add more to it,” said Wright, reports Sky Sports via the Express. “With players like Sanchez, that’s how you’ll end up challenging for big trophies. He said he wants to win the Champions League. In his mind, he doesn’t think he’ll win it with Arsenal.
Given Arsenal haven’t made it past the last-16 of the Champions League since 2009/10, while having failed to make the competition this season, Alexis perhaps isn’t wrong to dismiss their chances of European success as he prepares for his fourth season at the club.
“He obviously thinks that hence why he hasn’t signed a new deal. He just seems to me that he doesn’t want to be there and for me and the Arsenal fans it’s hard to take. We need him. Alexandre Lacazette has to hit the ground running,” Wright added.
“Whoever is up front, you know Giroud will come off the bench and get a few goals, but someone has to come up with 15/20 goals.”
If Alexandre Lacazette can match his goal tallies for former side Lyon, while Alexis scores and creates as many goals as he did last season, Arsenal do have a chance of being in and around the title contenders.
Ian Wright is right that a lot of Arsenal’s success does depend on Alexis, given the 28-year-old contributed 34 goals in 38 Premier League games last season. But keeping him happy and focused will be key, otherwise the club’s stance to keep him and potentially lose him for free next summer will be ruined.