Arsene Wenger says that Arsenal will be the ones to decide the future of Alexis Sanchez, and has hinted that the club will keep him in the final year of his deal even if he doesn’t commit to new terms.
The Chilean will have one more season on his current contract this summer, but as yet has not come to an agreement over an extension.
The Arsenal manager was asked if the current climate, with talk of bust-ups etc, might be a precursor to the 28 year old deparing the Emirates this summer, he sounded bullish.
“Alexis has 15 months of his contract,” he said, “so the decision of will he be here or not will depend completely on Arsenal Football Club and not on anybody else.”
He was pressed about the impact and behaviour of Sanchez, but insisted that it more to do with the collective than any individual.
“It’s about the team performance, not individuals,” he said. “It’s a team sport and the most important thing is that we focus on our collective.
“Our game is built on collective expression. That is the most important thing, that we focus on what’s important and not the individual.
“Alexis played in all the games and when we didn’t perform away from home, we lost as well. We lost at City, United and Chelsea, and that’s what I think is the most important thing, to focus and produce as a team.
“All the rest, his attitude – he’s a committed player and sometimes has excessive behaviours but you have that many times in the history of every squad.”
Of course we’ve been in situations like this before, where high value players with 12 months left on their contracts are told they’ll have to see them out, but then sold.
We’ve seen it happen with Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie, and it also occurred with Samir Nasri who thought he was great after a period of 4 months when he played consistently well.