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Arsene Wenger has challenged his Arsenal squad to reach 85 points next season and launch a genuine challenge for the Premier League title.
The Gunners managed 74 points last season, narrowly missing out on Champions League qualification for the first time in Wenger’s 20-year reign.
Arsenal appear to have been boosted in their attempts to significantly improve on last term’s exploits, with Wenger offering a definitive update on Alexis Sanchez’s future earlier this week, claiming the Chile international will remain with the club and see out the remainder of his contract which has entered its final year.
Asked whether Sanchez would be fully focused on helping Arsenal meet their target following a summer of speculation that has linked last season’s top goalscorer with a moves to Manchester City and PSG, Wenger said: ‘Of course. Why not?
‘My conviction – and if you look well – it’s always in your interests, even if you have a short contract, to do well. And the kind of character he is.
‘He is a winner. When he goes on the football pitch, he wants to win. He is a guy who loves football. He has advantages and disadvantages on both sides going into a situation like that.
‘When you have made 75 points (last season), your target is to get 10 points more. And with 10 points more, you are in there (the title race).’
Arsenal haven’t reached 85 points since they last won the league in 2004 when they accumulated 90 points but came close in 2008 when they amassed 83.