Sanchez saga won’t ruin Arse­nal, says Wenger

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS - — AFP

Arsene Wenger in­sists the Alexis Sanchez trans­fer saga won’t be a dis­trac­tion to Arse­nal this sea­son de­spite the Chile for­ward’s re­fusal to sign a new con­tract. Sanchez is out of con­tract at the end of the forth­com­ing sea­son and he has shown no signs of ac­cept­ing Arse­nal’s of­fer of a lu­cra­tive new deal as he tries to en­gi­neer a trans­fer to a club in the Cham­pi­ons League. Manch­ester City, Chelsea, Paris Saint Ger­main, Bay­ern Mu­nich and Ju­ven­tus have all been linked with Sanchez, but Wenger ap­pears de­ter­mined to hold onto the 28-year-old for the last year of his deal in the hope he can per­suade him to stay for the long-term.

Arse­nal mid­field­ers Me­sut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain are also in the fi­nal years of their con­tracts, yet when Wenger was asked if he was con­cerned, he made it clear he ex­pects his play­ers to stay com­mit­ted. “When you are a player you per­form un­til the last day of the con­tract. Do you re­ally think you sit in the dress­ing room be­fore a game and say ‘oh I’ve only got a year to go on my con­tract so I won’t play well’,” Wenger said. “If that was true we would sign ev­ery­body for 20 years. I’m not con­vinced the length of the con­tract has any im­pact on the per­for­mance. “I am amazed that you are sur­prised by that. It’s an ideal sit­u­a­tion. Ev­ery­body has to per­form. In the past, Wenger has sold the likes of Samir Nasri and Robin van Per­sie to avoid los­ing them for free when their con­tracts ex­pired. This time, Wenger is stub­bornly stick­ing to his guns over Sanchez and, against all the ev­i­dence, the Gun­ners boss even claimed it was a good po­si­tion for player and club to have only one year left.

“In the fu­ture you will see it more and more, play­ers go­ing to the end of the con­tract. Why? Be­cause trans­fers are so high even for nor­mal play­ers. No­body will want to pay those fees,” he said.

“No­body knows if Sanchez will ex­tend his con­tract here. What can I do about that? One day he will go and Arse­nal will go on. “Of course I think he will stay. How many times do I have to tell you?” For the mo­ment, Wenger has to do with­out Sanchez be­cause the for­ward has de­layed his re­turn to train­ing af­ter go­ing down with the flu. Sanchez has yet to fea­ture in any of Arse­nal’s pre-sea­son friendlies, in­clud­ing Sun­day’s 2-1 de­feat against Sevilla in the Emi­rates Cup be­cause he was rest­ing af­ter Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup duty.

His lack of match ac­tion means he is a doubt to fea­ture in next week­end’s Com­mu­nity Shield against Chelsea and pos­si­bly Arse­nal’s Premier League opener against Le­ices­ter on Au­gust 11.

“Sanchez is not back (in the coun­try). He comes back on Mon­day night,”Wenger said.“I don’t know (if he can play in the first game of the sea­son). We have to as­sess his phys­i­cal state.” One player cer­tain to miss the Com­mu­nity Shield is French mid­fielder Fran­cis Co­quelin, who limped out of Satur­day’s 5-2 thrash­ing of Ben­fica with an an­kle liga­ment in­jury.

“He has a scan to­mor­row (Mon­day). I don’t think he will be avail­able for the week­end. It’s an an­kle liga­ment, but it doesn’t look bad,” Wenger said. Af­ter mak­ing a slow start to last sea­son, Wenger is con­fi­dent Arse­nal will be more pre­pared this time de­spite the ab­sence of Co­quelin and Sanchez’s de­layed ar­rival.

“I’m sure we will have done the needed work. Last sea­son some play­ers had a deficit in min­utes played be­cause it was af­ter the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onships,” he said. “We have more play­ers ready now. We should be ready, even though we have a tough start.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.