Mark Schwarzer has claimed that Alexis Sanchez won’t be at his best unless he signs a new deal with the Gunners.
The former goalkeeper told Sky Sports that Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Özil wouldn’t show their qualities in full if they don’t sign on again before the end of the season. He said (via Express): “What will have a big say in Arsenal’s season is whether Sanchez re-signs or goes and same with Ozil.
“Because I don’t think they will get the most out of both of them if they don’t re-sign new contracts between now and the end of the season. I think that will be another issue that hangs over their head like with Arsène Wenger not signing and not declaring whether he was going to stay or go.”
The Arsène Wenger contract issues certainly seemed to have an effect on the Gunners’ results in the 2016/17 campaign. The cup run and the late run of form following the formation change saved things from getting really embarrassing, but the club won’t want a repeat of that league season in the current campaign.
Whether contracts negotiations stalling with players causes the same problems is hard to say for sure. Theo Walcott is a good example of someone who always seems to play out of his skin when his contract is running down, then step off the gas as soon as a new deal is agreed.
But the knock-on effect on teammates is harder to judge. The resulting uncertainty could potentially keep the team from really performing at their best, and prevent other players from committing their futures to the club as well.
Hopefully it isn’t a problem that the Gunners have to think about for long, and the two players agree deals as soon as possible.