Mark Lawrenson says Liverpool should sign Alexis Sanchez to replace Philippe Coutinho, but such a deal would only undermine Arsenal’s status as a big club if Liverpool are favoured.

Liverpool sold Coutinho to Barcelona during the week, bringing an end to one of the longest running sags of the summer. They will now need a replacement, and former Liverpool player Mark Lawrenson already has someone in mind.

He reckons Alexis Sanchez could be an interesting option for them. “There is a fella at Arsenal who wants out called Alexis Sanchez, that would be very interesting if Liverpool decide to go for someone like that,” Lawrenson told the BBC.

“If you can get Sanchez, and you have already got Virgil van Dijk, then that is good business, probably good business for everyone.” Good business for everyone is drastically overestimating the situation.

You could argue that Arsenal would be better off without a player who doesn’t want to play for them. However, they would be losing him to a rival and a team the Gunners can realistically compete with.

Losing Alexis to City would be tough but understandable, given what City are doing him at the moment. But losing him to Liverpool would undermine Arsenal’s status as a so-called big club.

Liverpool were interested in Alexis while he was at Barcelona. The Chilean turned down the opportunity to move to Merseyside to join Arsenal in the first place. Arsene Wenger lost Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool in the summer.

While that had marginal damage on Arsenal’s reputation, Alexis making the same move would disastrous. If Liverpool are now a side good enough to take the best players from the Gunners, which does that make Arsenal among the big-six clubs?