With one year left on his deal, £60m on the table, Arsene Wenger maintained his stance and refused to sell Alexis Sanchez last summer. Here are three reasons why that was a terrible decision.
Sometimes, when a player wants to leave, there is simply nothing you can do about it. However, in the case of Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal had a decision to make. Cash in on their best player from the last few seasons, stick £60m in the bank but see him play for a title rival, or keep him, and potentially lose him for free.
If Arsenal were to keep him, would the Chilean give Arsenal £60m worth of value on the pitch? Well. Possibly.
Look at Cristiano Ronaldo. After Manchester United won the Champions League back in 2008, Real Madrid wanted to sign the Portuguese. Sir Alex Ferguson decided that he wasn’t for sale, and that was that. Privately, he is believed to be have told the winger that if he delivered one more good season, he would grant him his dream move. One year, and another 26 goals later, Ronaldo became the world’s most expensive player.
However, since being denied his move, Alexis Sanchez doesn’t look like the same player. His demeanour looks like an unhappy player, a player that can’t be bothered.
Sanchez always looked like a player who could grab a game by the scruff of the neck and change a result. However this incarnation of Alexis certainly does not.
While his transfer value will be plummeting he to his contract ticking towards its conclusion, Arsenal are certainly not getting their worth on the field.
Speaking of getting their worth on the field, while we have already said that Sanchez’s demeanour and attitude seems to have dropped, the stats back it up that he is certainly not performing.
Last season, by far the finest of his career, Sanchez netted 27 goals and provided a further 13 assists in the Premier League and Champions League combined.
This season however as we approach the halfway stage, the Chilean has seen his stats drop off rather significantly. After 15 appearances this season, he has only found the back of the net five times and provided three assists.
So with his attitude and performances on the pitch not up to his usual high standards, it’s only bad news financially for the club.
Sanchez clearly doesn’t want to be at the Emirates any more, as shown by his on field attitude, and therefore is highly unlikely to sign a new deal.
While Manchester City offered £60m for Sanchez last summer, even that was probably not a true reflection of his transfer value, especially considering that Liverpool were offered £120m for Philippe Coutinho.
However, as soon as that transfer window closed, his value plummeted to around £20m-£30m, and will drop to absolutely nothing by the time next summer arrives.
Last summer, the Gunners had a £92m bid accepted for Thomas Lemar, only for the Frenchman to turn down the move due to the lack of time remaining in the transfer window. With Sanchez no longer worth £60m, Arsenal are unlikely to be able to to match the bid that they had accepted last year.
Arsene Wenger has been a controversial figure at Arsenal, winning three Premier League titles, and seven FA Cup’s. His stubbornness to change however has often seen him criticised by Football fans of all clubs, especially Arsenal. However his decision to keep Alexis Sanchez against his will could rank among one of his worst in many a year.