According to Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, keeping Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez this summer is a statement of ambition from the north London club. The pair both have less than 12 months left on their contracts in north London.
In truth, though, Arsenal would have sold Sanchez to Manchester City if they could have signed French winger Thomas Lemar on deadline day.
Gazidis is quoted by the Express as saying: “It was a clear statement of our ambitions and should help refute suggestions we are just about the money. That is simply nonsense.”
He continued by saying: “At the end of the window, reviewing all activity, we have once again improved the quality and depth of our squad.”
A statement of ambition really
I have to say that nothing that any of the Arsenal hierarchy says can come as a surprise. A statement of ambition would have been to persuade the pair to sign new deals with the club. I am not talking about offering ridiculous amounts of money.
I am talking about making the team strong enough for the pair to believe they can win the big trophies in north London. Some would argue that they are part of the problem at Arsenal, especially Ozil.
The Germany international seems to be on the end of constant criticism from fans and the media for his sometimes-lacklustre displays in an Arsenal. Sanchez clearly no longer wants to be an Arsenal player.
Should have sold the players
After last season’s poor campaign and with their contracts expiring maybe Arsenal should have sold the pair early in the transfer window. It seems clear that both players are looking to run down their contracts.
If Arsenal sold them, then the Gunners could have bought replacements. However, as we know Arsenal never make anything easy. Instead, the Gunners are either going to lose the pair in January for a cut-price fee or next summer for nothing.
For players of such high value to be allowed to run their contracts down in such a manner is anything but a statement of intent. It is very poor business on Arsenal’s part.
No player is bigger than the club is. Sanchez may be a star player, but it has been obvious for a while he wants to leave the club, so why not sell him and bring in a player that does want to play for the club.
Arsenal is in a mess at the moment and it is unclear when that mess will be cleared up. One thing is for sure results must improve on the pitch to avoid all out crisis talk, again.
Was keeping star players a statement of intent by Arsenal?