Sanchez departs as Palace win shows there is still hopes
By Dominic Athwal
The news everyone expected, but no one (….well Arsenal fans) wanted to hear, was finally confirmed on Monday as Alexis Sanchez signed for Manchester United FC. It must be said that the whole Alexis saga was handled very poorly by a club that used to have the golden touch when it came to transfer market dealings. The club should have either tied him down to a long term contract (thereby protecting his value) or sold him in the summer for £60m when Man City came calling, but the failure to do this and the naivety to think our performances this year would make him change his mind was pure stupidity. Regardless, there is still hope.
Arsenal confirmed the signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, as part of the deal, who for all his issues and set backs at United is still a very good player. His early form this season was sensational and its not too long ago people were saying he will be the “real deal” at United. It can’t be ignored though at the time of writing this article, Arsenal are in a worse position than they were when they started the window following the MKH / Alexis deal, but if Arsenal could add another attacking force to their arsenal (pun intended), that may change everything. It has been reported in the media for some days now that Arsenal are aggressively pursuing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and chief executive Ivan Gazidis has flown out to Dortmund to finalise the transfer. If Arsenal were to add Aubameyang to their ranks in this transfer window, it would have to be considered a very successful window indeed. The addition of Aubameyang and MKH to the already strong attacking options of Lacazette, Ozil, Ramsey and Wilshere would be a tantalising prospect to say the least. It would also in my mind represent a major shift in approach and mind set. If the deal gets done, I think it’s a clear sign that Wenger’s role as the all-powerful is diminishing and a new era is near.
Moving away from transfer news, Arsenal obliterated a much improved Palace side by scoring 4 goals in the first twenty minutes. The movement of Wilshere, Lacazette and Ozil, in particular, was fantastic to watch and it served as a timely reminder that no player should ever be bigger than the club. It must be noted too that Monreal was exceptional as he scored the first goal of the game and assisted the next two, but was unlucky to get injured shortly after. The team with Mustafi, Koscienly and Monreal playing together definitely has a better balance and solidity to it and it highlights the need to strengthen this area too as Mertsacker, Holding and Chambers are simply not good enough cover. To strengthen the defence this window may be asking too much, but the rumoured links with Evans is positive and I’d welcome him to the club with open arms.
Arsenal have the weekend off after being knocked out of the FA Cup, but hopefully we’ll be able to celebrate something anyway in the form of signing a real marquee player in Mr Aubameyang….here’s to hoping, because without hope, we’ve got nothing.