The Chilean hath spoken and yesterday afternoon we were given insight from Alexis as to what he wants. He wants Champions League football and it’s always been his dream to win it. But as he’s also admitted, it’s up to Arsenal when it comes to what happens next, so it appears he’s moved his chess piece and now is waiting for a response.
To me this feels like a subtle variation of the RvP situation that we experienced just a few years ago. Alexis wants out but he needs a reason and the lack of Champions League football is a decent enough stand for which to hang his hat on. He can use that as a reason for wanting to go somewhere else so that when that eventual City bid comes in – which I think it will soon – he can say “yeah, but they’ve got Champions League football, so that’s why I want to go” and there will be many that will say “fair enough”.
But as some have already pointed out, he is part of the reason for Arsenal not getting Champions League football this season too. He was on the pitch during some of the shocking performances like Palace and West Brom away and his form suffered just as much of a blip as some of the other Arsenal players, so he has to carry some responsibility I’m afraid. But he doesn’t appear to think that and is making his first steps towards an outright request to leave, albeit not publicly, because I think he’ll make fewer noises to the press when he links back up with Arsenal in a week or so’s time.
Personally I think we should be trying to ship him out abroad now. I’ve had enough of these poxy star player sagas and so if we can just get him out now to a foreign country we should do it. Arsenal should patch a call to PSG and say “look guys, we want this guy offloaded so we’re happy to settle for a knocked down price of £40million, as long as you pay the massive wages he wants” and then just get shot. Get £40million in the bank quickly and go get this exciting young talented winger from Monaco, Lemar, and get him to take up the hole in the team left by Alexis. You’ve already brought a goalscorer to replace his goals and by the sounds of this guy it would be a creative player to replace Alexis’ flair.
Of course I know it’s not that simple but at least it would just get done.
The only other minor possibility is that Alexis has been told by his agent that he can ratchet up the pressure on the club to get a new deal. We’ve seen players before look like they’re on the brink of exit before signing extensions with the club. Just look at Rooney a few years back and also the Milan ‘keeper this summer. Personally I don’t think it’s likely but I guess stranger things have happened.
All of this contract talk and I’ve completely neglected the fact we had our second pre season game of the summer against West Sydney Wanderers, which ended 3-1 and included a beat goal from Giroud, a fine chip from Ramsey and a heavily deflected goal from Elneny. I only watched the first half but got to catch all of the goals as well as some of the rotation of players in to different positions. Seeing Maitland-Niles at left back was interesting and I thought he equitted himself quite well. Like Reiss Nelson I suspect he is one of the players whom we are holding some hope for the season ahead to break in to the team. I didn’t manage to catch the second half but by the sounds of it I didn’t really miss much, particularly given that a whole host of changes were made around the hour mark, which usually leads to somewhat of a disjointed finale in these games. But it was a decent enough run out and I also thought Iwobi looks to have a bit of energy about him.
He’s a player who tailed off a bit last season but one who I think Arsène will find space for it he can. His direct running can be an asset but we just need him to be delivering better final balls or finishing. Let’s see how he reacts with the rest of the pre season games and how he can perform.
That’s me for this Sunday. You have a good one, y’hear?