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ARSENAL legend Ray Parlour believes his former side will once again miss out on the Premier League top four this season if they sold Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in January.
Sanchez and Ozil are both out of contract at the end of the season and would be available on a free transfer.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger revealed at this morning’s press conference ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Huddersfield that the star duo would not be allowed to leave in the winter transfer window.
Parlour believes it would be nigh-on possible to replace Sanchez and Ozil midseason if they were to move away from north London.
“They’re important for the season, to get back into that top four you need your best players. How’d you replace them?,” he said on talkSPORT.
“At this time of the year it’s not a great time to replace players of that calibre.
“They’re not many players out there who could do the same good as them two. Alexis Sanchezyou would lose all his goals, Ozil is creative.”
If they do no extend their contracts beforehand, Sanchez and Ozil would be able to talk to foreign clubs in January about a potential summer switch.
Parlour says that is a risk worth taking, because they, especially Sanchez, have the right attitude.
“That’s a gamble you take but also they’re looking at their own careers aren’t they and they want to do as well as they can,” he added.
“I’ve looked at their body language since they haven’t signed a contract and against Spurs was the best.
I know it was Spurs and the north London derby and you’d expect that, but Mesut Ozil chasing back into his own half and tackling people. I hadn’t seen that this season so I think the attitude is right.
“You can only sense that during training sessions whether the attitude is dropping off in certain players if they want to leave, some players sulk.
“But I don’t think Sanchez, it’s in his makeup, he loves football. He goes out there and tries his best every single game, so that’s why you always have to look at the characters of the players as well.
“If you’ve got a player who is going to sulk and upset other players in the dressing room, then you might have to get rid of them in January, but I don’t think Sanchez is that type of player.
“If I’m a player for Arsenal in midfield, I want him in front of me because he’s the one who is going to be chasing people down, I can go tight on my man.
It’s a lot easier to play when you’ve got people like (Luis) Suarez did at Liverpool when he was there, so I think that is the right decision from Arsenal’s point of view.”
Parlour believes Arsenal must resist any offers for Sanchez and Ozil if they harbour any hopes of returning to the Champions League next season.
He concluded: “I don’t think they are in a position, I know it’s a lot of money they’re probably going to get, maybe £25million or whatever, but I think it’s more important to get back into that top four.
“If they lose them two, I think they would find it very difficult to get in that top four.”
Arsenal currently sit fourth in the Premier League table after 13 games this season ahead of the visit of David Wagner’s side.