It has been the flavour of the month, or should I say the flavour of the off season. For every non-Alexis
related question Wenger is asked these days, there’s a question regarding Alexis, even if it is essentially the same question over and over again. So let’s break it down for everyone who can’t be bothered reading past a headline or a soundbite. Here is why Alexis Sanchez will be an Arsenal player in 2017/18.
Finding a replacement is near impossible
Can you name a realistic replacement for our hard working Chilean in the current market, especially one who will join a team without Champions League? There really isn’t anybody. No matter what the transfer fee is, the money means nothing if the market is empty. It’s akin to being a millionaire on a deserted island, what are you realistically going to do with that money? You have the likes of Kyle Walker going for £50m and he’s a defender. We’ve been quoted over £100m for Mbappe, a talented yet unproven striker in the Premier League with no guarantees he will come to us. It is just an insane market at the moment.
Even if someone is found the wages will be astronomical
We’ve already established nobody of Alexis’ calibre is available and willing, but for arguments sake let’s say someone like a Lewandowski wants to play for us. He isn’t going to be cheap and I’m not even talking about the transfer fee. Right now Alexis has a contract with us for £140,000 and unless he signs a new one that’s the wage he will get paid until May 2018. Now consider a new player who will join us. He will command wages of double that because that’s the market rate these days and we also need to provide compensation for no Champions League. For reference Ozil is rumoured to have been offered this amount to sign a new deal, and many will say someone as good as Alexis deserves more. That’s an extra £7-8m in wages alone. Even if we get Alexis for one season and lose him on a free, we get amazing value for a world class player
We have more chance of getting back in the Champions League
Unlike Van Persie who was in his thirties and had only one good year in him (which was proven when he went to United) Alexis is in his peak years.
The kicker to the above arguments is this, we need to get back into the Champions League. There is a far greater chance of us getting back into the top 4 with Alexis than without.
The thing is we earned £45m in 2016 in the Champions League (probably more in 2017) for reaching the round of 16. So even if we sell Alexis for around £50m we are pretty much breaking even while hindering our chances for qualifying for future Champions Leagues greatly. Contrast this to the Europa League where the maximum we could receive is around £20m and that is if we win the whole thing. An absolute gulf when you consider 1 is lifting the trophy and the other is just turning up and getting smacked 10-2 by Bayern Munich.
And let’s not forget if Alexis still decides to leave next year on a free he will have, hopefully, got us back in the Champions League which will mean more money and more prestige to attract the right kind of player to replace him.
So unless we receive a bid in the region of £150m there is no financial or football reason to let go of Alexis.
Arsenal may well lose Alexis for free but that is still much better than what they will lose if they take the money now.
Arsene Wenger’s stance has been firm and definitive. Without the financial pressures of yesteryear and the stadium debt (notice how Tottenham isn’t signing anyone and sold Walker, sound familiar?) I do believe he has the long term interests of the club at heart.
Alexis Sanchez will be an Arsenal player next season. You may purchase the new kit with his name on it with confidence.
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