Deadline day was a frenzy of mixed emotions for Alexis Sanchez. The star forward was all but set to depart from Arsenal for Manchester City, with a reported £60 million fee agreed between the clubs. However, by the end of the day, it all came crashing down, and now, the Emirates houses a furious and unhappy player.
Ex-Manchester United player and football pundit Gary Neville, through Sky Sports, reckons that the Alexis Sanchez that returns to training after the international break will be paramount to how Arsenal fare in the season to come.
The London club hasn’t tasted much success this season, with a quickly nicked FA Community Shield being their sole hurrah. Last week’s 4-0 embarrassment against Liverpool was agonizing for supporters to witness.
Regarding the Chilean international, Neville went onto explain: “He’s been someone who has been difficult to warm to in the last few months, particularly at Anfield.
“Within the first 20 minutes after the first goal, he was throwing his arms up at his teammates. And when players start doing that, then you have big problems, especially when it is coming from a star player.”
However, he reckons that if the 28-year-old exercises a change in mentality, things could be salvaged for the Gunners.
He continued: “For Arsenal now, it’s all about which Sanchez turns up. The terrier-type player that I look at and love, or the one in the last four or five months that throws the towel in and his hands in the air at his team-mates, which I do not like.”
At his top form, however, Neville reckons that Wenger can build an attack that will rival any other in the League: “They should score a bag full of goals every single game – we know they have issues in central midfield and can defend better, but if those players decide they want to perform and play, then they have a chance of having a good season.”
But most importantly, the players must make their peace with the manager. When they return to action on September 9, he must sort out an uneasy locker room, a furious forward, and keep hold of a job that has been wished away by far too many supporters, far too many times.
Written by Naveen Kelvin
A writer trying to craft the poetry within football. Purpose in life is to Make Good Art.