The Arsenal squad are in Australia and it didn’t take long for the plane to touch down on Ozzie soil before the manager was asked about Alexis. In his first public speaking engagement, he was wheeled out in front of the usual assembled pack, to talk about the upcoming tour and also some of the speculation.
He had a chat about a few things, being unsurprisingly non-committal on Thomas Lemar, but not completely ruling him out, which will no doubt get a few extremities quivering amongst some Arsenal fans. It’s certainly a different tactic to the previous years we had of “I don’t know this player” or completely ruling it out and I suspect Arsène has learned that some of the mob prefer the carrot dangled in front of them as opposed to any realistic update.
The other big topic for discussion surrounded the future of Alexis and whilst some have interpreted his words as a positive indication of good news I’m afraid to say my optimism is certainly not as well entrenched in some misguided belief that he’ll sign on with the club again.
I just feel that Alexis is the sort of player who doesn’t really have an affinity with any club, instead is like a modern day contract worker who goes where the work is and where he can get a decent enough crust. I know some people have been talking up rumours within the club that he’ll stay and sign a new deal, but I’m yet to get any indication of that from his words, and listening to what Arsène was saying yesterday didn’t fill me with any more hope.
In fact, I’d probably also say that this all feels rather familiar to the Cesc, Nasri situations, when Arsène maintained we’d keep the players, he maintained that certainly for Nasri he could sign a new deal and he even played him at the start of the season. But hindsight has taught us that Nasri was offski and that is what I think is panning out now. We all know Alexis is off, but the club are understandably playing hardball with their rhetoric because they don’t want to have their hands weakened like Chelski are having with Costa right now.
That’s a situation we would hate to ind ourselves in; essentially having a player who could probably fetch £50million being frozen out and most likely sold for closer to £30million because he’s had a breakdown in relationship with his manager. Atletico know this and the result is that they’re going to go as low ball as possible with their bid for a player they know can’t play until January, but also know that Chelski want off their books as quickly as possible. People are saying that Alexis won’t do anything extreme like go on strike, but I’m not 100% convinced of that, especially if he has indeed made his mind up and wants out of Arsenal.
He seems exactly the type of player to kick up a bit of a stink, if you ask me, although I must admit to having absolutely no knowledge of him outside of the football pitch. So perhaps my comments are lacking a little bit education on him as a person – as a certain manager would say.
For me, I just want this sorted one way or the other in the next week or two, and it’s getting to the stage where I don’t care which way. You staying? Good. Sign a deal and let’s get on with it. You leaving? Fine. But you can’t go to an English club so we’ll find you somewhere in Italy or Germany or Spain that you can ply your trade in. Heck, we’ll even reduce the asking price so the buying club can justify the mega wages you apparently want.
I know it’s a little more complicated than that but right now I’m just trying ways in which the rest of this summer doesn’t revolve around another saga.
Catch y’all in the morrow.