No one has any clue about Alexis Sanchez’s intentions this summer. The Chilean looked likely to end his spell at the Emirates Stadium after Arsenal failed to qualify for the Champions League.
As of yet, there is no evidence to suggest that Sanchez will be departing North London, although he recently released a cryptic Instagram post which left some of the Arsenal faithful up in arms.
If Alexis Sanchez is to leave Arsenal, here are five players, currently playing abroad, who could just well be the perfect replacement.
Lemar was just one of the breakthrough stars to emerge from last season as the principality club won the Ligue 1 title, whilst impressively reaching the Champions League semi finals. Lemar isn’t blessed with an abundance of tricks and flicks but he is pacey and direct and looks to get forward at any opportunity.
At 22, he has bundles of time to turn himself into a more potent goalscorer like Sanchez has done, but Arsenal would have to act quickly with the North London rivals Tottenham also very keen on the Frenchman.
The Swedish international has been a standout performer for Leipzig as the recently promoted club defied expectations to finish second in the Bundesliga. Forsberg contributed an incredible 19 assists and found the net eight times himself.
The Swede signed a contract extension with Leipzig in February and has had only had one year’s experience at the top level, but he is a dynamic player full of creativity which could prove a hit with the Gunners fans.
Keita Balde Diao
22-year-old Senegalese forward Keita Balde Diao is almost certain to leave Lazio this summer, with his contract up next year. He has had an impressive breakthrough Seria A season with the Biancocelesti, and is heavily tipped to remain in Italy with Juventus.
The forward has already attracted huge interest during his youth career where seven years with Barcelona. He is a tricky winger but his work rate and temperament have been scrutinised in his short career. Under Arsene Wenger, a man who commands respect, Keita could flourish if he tweaks some aspects of his game because he has the ability to become one of the best wingers in the world.
Argentine Gomez has recorded his best season so far, scoring 16 goals to guide Atalanta into the Europa League stages, finishing above both Milan heavyweights. At 29, he may have reached the peak in his career, but if Sanchez were to leave, he could provide a quick fix if Arsenal’s main targets are unavailable this summer. Gomez is extremely versatile and can play as a winger, attacking midfielder or striker. He has also forced his way into an Argentina national side who boast some of the best attacking talent in the world, scoring as well in a friendly against Singapore.
Gomez would not be a long term option but and though he is not as good Alexis Sanchez, his play style and versatility seem to be a carbon copy of the Chilean.
If Douglas Costa were to pitch up at the Emirates Stadium, it could be because he has been involved in a swap deal with Sanchez. Bayern Munich have been heavily linked with Sanchez and it is unlikely that Sanchez would reject the German giants advances. Costa would inevitably leave and has the potential to be a superb replacement for Sanchez. Of course, Bayern clearly rate Sanchez more but Arsenal will find it difficult to attract or keep the same sort of quality without elite European football.
Costa was an interesting signing when he joined from Shakhtar Donetsk and although he has struggled for consistent play time, he has shown that he is just as good at a higher level. The Brazilian is rapid and skilful but he is also a good finisher. He is also only 26 so will be reaching his best years if Arsenal were to make a move for him now.