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Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown doesn’t think the Gunners can keep hold of forward Alexis Sanchez beyond this season.
The plan appears to be to keep Alexis for 2017/18 and hope that he signs a new contract during the campaign. Arsene Wenger has admitted as much, and feels that a good season could convince the Chilean to stay.
Martin Keown, however, believes there is little chance of that happening. “Wenger is probably hoping he can somehow win the Premier League and keep Sanchez,” he said at the FA and McDonald’s Community Awards,” reports the Express.
“Meet his needs from a trophy point of view and find some way to match his contract demands – but I don’t see that happening.” This all would depend on exactly why Alexis would want to leave Arsenal.
If it’s for a greater chance of winning major trophies, then the Gunners would certainly have to challenge for the Premier League. If it’s about money, Arsenal have reportedly offered him £300,000 per week.
A lot can change during the season, and while it might sound a bit hopeful, we can’t write off the club’s chances of keeping Alexis just yet. Keown does, at least, acknowledge that Alexis isn’t the type of player to not give his all whenever he’s playing.
“I don’t think Sanchez is the kind of player to shut up shop. He signed a contract in good faith. And while he could probably move and earn a lot more money at another club, sometimes it’s about carrying on with dignity and respect and finishing the job. That’s what he should do at Arsenal.”
Respect and dignity could certainly go a long way towards helping Alexis leave the club on a free transfer. Fans won’t like it, but would at least accept that he saw out his contract to the very end.
I don’t neccessarily think Wenger is deluded into thinking Alexis will dramatically change his mind to stay at Arsenal next summer, but he still has a full season to try and convince the Chilean.